Elkhart County Health Board urging citizens to ‘mask-up’
Record number of local citizens being hospitalized for COVID 19
Elkhart, Indiana (January 21, 2022) – Today, the Elkhart County Board of Health is urging local citizens to resume using facemasks and get vaccinated to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID 19.
“We’re seeing record levels of hospitalizations in Elkhart County due to COVID,” said Richard Hostetter, M.D. and Interim Health Officer for Elkhart County. “Please mask-up and get vaccinated. It will help.”
“This is not a mandate,” added Hostetter, “It’s a plea. The majority of people being hospitalized for COVID are unvaccinated. They have very little protection from the disease. Wearing an N95 mask will make a difference. Cloth masks are just not as effective in preventing the spread, but if you only have a cloth mask please double up.”
“If you’re not fully vaccinated, if you have a weak immune system, or even if you’re fully vaccinated but live in an area like ours where transmission levels of the disease are high, please wear a mask,” added Dr. Daniel Nafziger, Chief Medical Officer at Goshen Hospital. “This is for your own protection. We can get through this. But, we need to work together.”
“We have very limited treatment options right now, so our most effective strategy is to reduce the spread of this contagious variant,” added Michelle Bache, Vice President Medical Affairs Elkhart General. “I encourage people to wear the best mask available to them such as an N95 or KN95. Even if you’re not worried about your own personal risk for COVID, masking is an effective way to limit the opportunity for Omicron to infect other vulnerable members of our community.”
“Masks will help mitigate the uptick in local hospitalizations,” said Hostetter. “Please wear the most protective mask you can, and if it’s cloth double up.”
ABOUT THE ELKHART COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT BOARD: The Board of Directors of the Elkhart County Health Department consists of seven men and women who live and work in Elkhart County.
Melanie Sizemore, MBA, MPH
Health Administrator, Elkhart County Health Department
WIC/MCH Manager, Healthy Beginnings
Public Information Officer, Incident Command & Health Department
1400 Hudson St. Elkhart, IN 46516
574-522-0104 ext. 11250