ELKHART — The number of daily COVID-19 case increases locally may have reached a plateau, according to Elkhart County Emergency Management Director Jennifer Tobey.
Data from the Indiana State Department of Health show a peak in the seven-day rolling average at 78 on June 18, followed by low of 39 on July 6. Tobey said around then that residents should not believe the apparent decrease in new cases, as the waiting time for test results had gone from two to 10 days.
And even now, she said, the apparent dip several weeks ago might not represent reality.
“It’s still misleading because we have some labs that are now out 14 to 18 days. So we still have over 800 tests that we don’t have results on,” she said.
That means Elkhart County continues to have a high number of new cases, according to Tobey, who believes the area has reached a plateau.
ISDH data also show a decrease in the county’s positive test rate, which hit a recent high average of 14.6 percent on July 10 but has since gone down to a 6.6 percent average July 20. Tobey said that is most likely also a result of the delay in getting results back.
ISDH reported 34 new confirmed cases in Elkhart County on Monday, bringing the local total to 4,378. One new death was reported, bringing the county’s total to 71. The state also reported 162 new tests completed in the county, bringing the total number of Elkhart County residents tested to 32,456.
Hospitals in Elkhart County currently report having 37 COVID-19 patients, with 12 at Goshen Hospital and 25 at Elkhart General.
Some distrust in local test results has spread locally as multiple residents have claimed on social media that people leaving Elkhart County testing sites before actually getting tested – but after registering – ended up hearing that they had tested positive. Tobey said she had heard about this, but not from anyone it actually happened to.
“We looked into it with the state and found no validity,” she said. “So I think it’s rumor,”
But in case something of that nature did happen, Tobey encouraged people with direct knowledge to contact Elkhart County Emergency Management.