Goshen Hospital's COVID tent

A Goshen Health employee exits a tent set up under the emergency room canopy at the Goshen Health Hospital in this March 17 file photo.

GOSHEN — While the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Elkhart County were down Tuesday as compared to a week ago, a local health official is not convinced the situation is improving in the county.

“I don’t think we’ve gone up a lot per se, but I know we haven’t gone down. We have a lot of concerns,” Jen Tobey, director of the Elkhart County Emergency Management Agency, said.

Tobey said Tuesday afternoon she had taken part in a unified command call earlier in the day in which she was told Goshen Health was still 10 to 18 days out on test results there. She added that Goshen Health has approximately 400 to 500 tests that are out because laboratories are so backed up. She added Elkhart General Hospital is backed up on test results from anywhere between six to eight days. “We’re hearing from state sites after two days,” Tobey said.

The delay in results is causing numbers to be skewed, Tobey said.

“People think numbers are plateauing, but I’m still gonna say ‘no’,” she added.

Elkhart County reported 25 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, according to number from the Indiana State Department of Health, compared to 34 new cases one week ago. Both Elkhart County and Marshall County each reported one new death.

State health officials added 18 more coronavirus-related deaths to Indiana’s pandemic total Tuesday as the state also reported a sharp increase in the number of people hospitalized with the respiratory infection caused by the virus.

Indiana hospitals were treating 907 patients with COVID-19 as of Monday, a jump of 72 from a day earlier and the most since early June, according to the ISDH. Indiana’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have grown by about 50% since late June, while the seven-day average of newly recorded coronavirus infections has more than doubled during that time to about 800 cases.

Gov. Eric Holcomb cited those trends when he announced a statewide face mask mandate that took effect Monday.

Most of the new COVID-19 fatalities occurred since Thursday, pushing Indiana’s total to 2,924, including confirmed and presumed cases, since the state’s first death was recorded in mid-March, the health department said.

Indiana hospitals had 303 COVID-19 patients in their intensive care units on Monday. That patient number was about one-third of the state’s coronavirus ICU peak in April but it’s grown by nearly 40% since the beginning of July.

Here are Tuesday’s numbers:

Statewide — 63,678 positive cases, up 809; 2,725 deaths, up 16; 716,809 tested, up 9,079; 8.9% positivity rate.

Elkhart County — 4,399 positive cases, up 25; 72 deaths, one new; 32,773 tested, up 322; 13.4% positivity rate.

LaGrange County — 528 positive cases, up five; 10 deaths, zero new; 2,478 tested, up 13; 21.3% positivity rate.

Noble County — 605 positive cases, up three; 28 deaths, zero new; 5,637 tested, up 44; 10.7% positivity rate.

Kosciusko County — 768 positive cases, up four; 11 deaths, zero new; 8,165 tested, up 48; 9.4% positivity rate.

St. Joseph County — 2,854 positive cases, up 25; 76 deaths, zero new; 38,805 tested, up 403; 7.4% positivity rate.

Marshall County — 718 positive cases, up seven; 20 deaths, one new; 6,631 tested, up 71; 10.8% positivity rate.

To find testing locations around the state, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.

GOSHEN HEALTH NUMBERS

Goshen Health officials released the latest numbers on COVID-19 activity at the hospital.

“Lots of patients are coming through COVID-19 without being very sick, but we have had 18 deaths so far at our hospital (70 in our county) and even one death is difficult for that patient’s friends and family,” said Dr. Dan Nafziger, Goshen Hospital chief medical officer and infectious disease specialist. “We are grateful to everyone in the community who continues to take all the recommended precautions — physical distancing, wearing masks, handwashing and staying home when sick. When you keep yourself from getting infected, you are preventing harm to others, especially those closest to you.”

As of Monday, going back to March 11.

Testing:

  • 10,667 tests completed
  • 1,376 positive test results (overall positivity rate of 13.6%)
  • 8,723 negative test results
  • 521 test results are pending

Hospitalizations:

  • 188 hospital admissions
  • 176 hospital discharges
  • 18 confirmed COVID-19 positive related mortalities

RENTAL ASSISTANCE OFFERED

REAL Services announced Tuesday there is rental assistance available to those affected by COVID-19.

Applicants must live in Elkhart, Fulton, La Porte, Marshall and St. Joseph counties, officials stated in a news release. Applicants must be rent burdened and have an eviction notice or written notice to evacuate their dwelling.

More information can be found at in.gov/ihcda/coronavirus.htm by clicking on Coronavirus Eviction & Foreclosure Prevention Guide.

To start the rental assistance inquiry process, an application must first be made at the Indiana State website www.indianahousingnow.org. Individuals who are unable to complete the application online should call 1-844-463-7368.

Questions can be directed to REAL Services via email at rentalassist@realserivces.org or by calling 574-284-2060 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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