ELKHART — For the second time in eight days, Elkhart County has broken its record for new COVID-19 cases, leading health officials to issue a warning to the public about taking the virus more seriously.

There were 152 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the county Wednesday and reported Thursday by the Indiana State Department of Health. The previous high, which was set a week earlier, was 128. Before that, the high was 112 on June 17.

The seven-day average of new cases is 89 per day, which is worse than at any point during the first wave in the county, when the highest average was 78.

The number of people getting tested locally is increasing and has reached 327 per day as of Oct. 8, meaning it remains lower than during the first wave, when the average was usually above 400 per day. However, it is possible that a higher number has gotten tested since Oct. 8. The positive test rate for individuals is at 15.6 percent as of Oct. 8, up from about 10 percent during much of the late summer and early fall. When the first wave was at its worst in June, the positive test rate average was at about 18 percent.

No new deaths were reported in Elkhart County on Wednesday. The latest reported death occurred on Oct. 11. There have been 21 deaths in the last 30 days, which is fewer than during the deadliest period of July and the first half of August, when an average of one Elkhart County resident died of COVID-19 each day. However, health experts fear and expect that this wave of cases will be followed by a wave of deaths, as was the case with the first wave. In total, 126 local residents have died.

Indiana as a whole also broke its record of cases recorded in a day Thursday. The state reported 1,960 new cases, all recorded Wednesday. The state also set records on Oct. 8 and 9, with 1,823 and 1,937 cases, respectively. The seven-day average is at its highest-ever point, with 1,653 cases per day.

The state has seen a high number of deaths recently, with 23 being reported Thursday. The average had been about 10 per day for months but is now at 14. In total, 3,632 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19.

In Elkhart County, a total of 7,925 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and 56,013 residents have been tested. Statewide, those numbers are 141,212 and 1,521,402. Both in Elkhart County and statewide, the majority of confirmed cases are among people who are younger than 60, while the majority of deaths are among people who are 60 or older.

Dr. Lydia Mertz, Elkhart County’s health officer, in a release Thursday said the public needs to take the virus more seriously.

“We need to change what we’ve been doing, and get back to the preventive measures we had been taking in August that caused our rate to come down then. We need to get vigilant, and get the number of new cases down right away,” Mertz said.

She has said that if the outbreak continues to get worse, health officials will have to consider reintroducing restrictions.

“Please wear a cloth face covering in public, use distancing guidelines, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently. If you have even mild symptoms, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, please get tested. We all need to do these things consistently to get the community safe again,” Mertz said.

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter at @ReadRasmus

(8) comments


Seems you been edited again Joe. Explain the 7 million dollars per year Joe suddenly came into the last 2 years. 6.6 million more than any prior year.


For once you right about something Joe. Mr Trump can’t and won’t condone white supremacy. He has put the Democrat party created KKK on the terrorist list. The rest of your post is just your normal drivel from the Dem’s talking points.

Meanwhile Hunter Biden Is selling the United States to anybody that will pay him and his family. Care to comment on that Joe?

Joe King

I see you don’t care about facts and buy right into Russian propaganda,,,huh, comrade? Absolutely no facts back that claim...unless you believe some computer guy, you can’t recall if it was hunter Biden or someone else, BUT the computer had a Biden sticker, so he went through the emails and made copies and gave them to the FBI and Rudy Giuliani....he gave it Rudy...yeah...believe that..just what the Russians want you to believe...like the last election.

(Edited by staff.)


More edits Joe, you really don’t like me, I’m heart broken. Why have the Bidens not denied this Joe? Did someone plant videos of Hunter having sex and smoking crack at the same time. That would take some editing.

How did Joe make 15 million dollars the combined the last two years? No best seller books, no lottery wins or high paying speeches. Amazing. When it all comes crumbling down around him, and it will, who are you going to turn to? The next few days are going to get very interesting Joe. Why did Hunters lawyer attempt to get the computer back from the whistleblower if it wasn’t his? And you yourself have to believe the whistleblower, right Joe. At least we know who the whistleblower is. And he didn’t forget who brought it in Joe, he is legally blind and admitted he can’t see past 12 inches. But I am pretty sure there is a log somewhere showing it was given to him and the passwords necessary to open it and fix whatever was wrong.

Joe King

irony sure is dead....You know how much Biden made because he released his taxes. Because journalist investigated and released trumps hidden taxes, we know Trump paid $750 dollars 2 years. the facts and history won't be kind to the Trump family.

(Edited by staff.)

Joe King

Trumps inability to take it serious and help prepare our country for it is the worse failure in our countries history. Over 218,000 dead Americans and rising....it isn’t a a hoax and it won’t magically disappear.....and now the administration and the gop is toying with the herd immunity theory going against health officials warnings. But hey, they have time to rush a Supreme Court pick... vote this failure out.....wear a mask, keep your distance, and wash your hands.

(Edited by staff.)


Another entry by the fear mongering parrot. The financial damage done by the lockdown will take years to repair if it can be done at all. All states should opened up and kids should be in school. The blue states that are still closed are closed for a political reason only, to keep the unemployment rate as high as possible. Amy is perhaps the most qualified person to ever be considered to the Supreme Court and will be seated soon. Live with it Joe.

Joe King

Fear mongering? Tell that to the 218,000 and rising people who have died...tell that to their families..how many teachers, nurses, doctors have died? Because people like you are too selfish to look out for others...too wear a mask for others....we are in a world wide pandemic. We have 4% of the world population and yet we have 21% of the worlds covid deaths....that shows just how bad trump and his republican cronies have failed this nation. Even Canada agrees and announced its borders will remained closed to Americans until we get our act together. Our status in the world is a joke because of what trump has done... trump can’t even condone white supremacy when asked, and support Qanon crazy conspiracies and won’t condone the misinformation they spread...enough is enough...

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