Daily update June 26

Noble County passed 400 cases of COVID-19 overall, as both Noble and LaGrange counties posted double-digit new case increases on Friday.

KENDALLVILLE — Kendallville’s Camp Wethonkitha will be shut down next week as a precaution after one camper developed cold-like symptoms following a family member testing positive for COVID-19.

The camp, which is run by the Cole Center YMCA and Kendallville Park Department, will be off until July 6 as long as no other campers appear to develop illnesses.

The camper, who has not attended since Tuesday, lives in a household where a family member tested positive for COVID-19. The child demonstrated cold-like symptoms earlier this week.

State officials have said that people living in the same household as a person with COVID-19 have a much higher probability of contracting the virus themselves.

“In an abundance of caution, they have suspended camp until all campers and camp staff have the opportunity to be tested for the COVID-19 virus because of this potential exposure,” Noble County Health Officer Dr. Terry Gaff said in a Friday afternoon release.

Testing will be available to all campers at staff on Monday at the OptumServe testing site at the Community Learning Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The site can take 12 appointments per hour every hour except a half-hour lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m.

“While awaiting test results the campers and staff should self-isolate, especially from the elderly and those with chronic health conditions,” Gaff said. “Campers have remained isolated from the general YMCA membership. Therefore, the Y operations will continue to operate with no interruption.

“This should remind us all that the pandemic coronavirus that causes COVID-19 continues to be present in our communities,” Gaff said, while advising Noble County residents to continue wearing face masks when out in places where they cannot maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and other people.

Noble, LaGrange county cases up

A short reprieve from sizable increases in COVID-19 cases is over in two local counties, as both posted double-digit new cases again on Friday.

After a lull earlier this week, Noble County surpassed 400 overall cases, adding 12 new COVID-19 positives to 404 all-time. LaGrange County was also back to larger increases after a temporary slowdown, rising 10 cases to 430 all-time.

Steuben County increased two cases to 116 and DeKalb County was up two to 148.

The local increases come on the second-straight day of larger-than-usual case counts in the state as a whole. Thursday was the first time since May 30 that Indiana logged more than 500 new cases and Friday’s count was nearly as high with 485 more added to the total.

After averaging more than 500 cases per day for April and May, Indiana’s daily average has dropped significantly to a 368-per-day average in June. Overall hospitalizations have been in decline and new deaths have slowed, too.

That trend hasn’t been the case in northeast Indiana, where LaGrange County, Elkhart County and other regional communities have seen large increases in new cases that weren’t being experience before Memorial Day.

In the month between May 25 and June 25, LaGrange County added 360 cases (600% increase); Noble County added 207 cases (112%); DeKalb County was up 117 cases (403%). Steuben County was the only local county to have a modest increase in cases in the one-month period, adding just 34 cases, a 43% increase.

By comparison, Indiana as a whole saw an increase of about 38% in the month period since the holiday.

During that same one-month time frame, LaGrange County had 66 hospitalizations, followed by Noble County with 23, DeKalb County with 15 and Steuben County with four.

That made for a hospitalization rate of about 18% for LaGrange County, while the other three were all lower in the 11-13% range.

Hospital capacity for both intensive care unit beds and ventilators remains steady across Indiana, which is why state officials have continued advancing Indiana along its five-step reopening plan even as some communities have showed local surges in COVID-19 activity.

No new deaths were reported in the region, as Noble County holds at 28, LaGrange County at six, DeKalb County at four and Steuben County at two.

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