Daily update June 29

The four-county area saw small increases in new COVID-19 cases over the weekend and no new deaths as the state looks ahead toward the final stage of its reopening plan, which may take effect on Saturday.

KENDALLVILLE — A youngster taking part in Kendallville’s Camp Wethonkitha has tested positive for COVID-19 after a household member had tested positive earlier last week.

On Friday, the Noble County Health Department announced with the Cole Center YMCA and Kendallville Park Department, which together put on the popular day camp, that Camp Wethonkitha would be shut down this week as a precaution after a camper showed cold-like symptoms following a family member testing positive for COVID-19.

In a brief Facebook post on Monday afternoon, camp runners confirmed that the student in question has also tested positive for COVID-19.

“Sadly, our camper has tested positive, therefore it’s important that all staff and campers get tested and self-isolate until test results are back,” the Kendallville Camp Wethonkitha post stated. “If you have additional questions contact Dawn McGahen. Please keep our camper and their family in your prayers.”

On Friday, the health department said the camp was being suspended in order to allow all campers and staff to get tested for coronavirus.

The camp originally was set to resume on July 6 if no campers tested positive, but it’s unclear at this time how the program will be affected.

Casey Weimer, Cole YMCA executive director and CEO said the camp had 80 students enrolled.

She said on June 23 when the camper was sent home with symptoms half of the campers were on a field trip limiting some potential exposure.

Typically people who test positive and other “close contacts” identified for contact tracers are asked to quarantine for two-week periods in order to avoid potential wider spread of the virus.

Local cases slow as state activity slows

New cases of COVID-19 in the local area slowed over the weekend as Indiana carried through it’s normal weekend reporting lull.

Noble and LaGrange counties both posted double-digit increases over the two days combined, while DeKalb and Steuben counties showed slower increases.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health’s noon COVID-19 report, Noble County increased 14 cases since Saturday, rising to 431 overall. The county increased 10 cases on Sunday and another four on Monday.

LaGrange County was behind that with 12 total cases, nine on Sunday and three on Monday.

DeKalb County was up five cases over the two-day period, while Steuben County added only one.

Indiana as a whole slowed a bit over the past two days, adding 355 and 298 cases on days when total tests processed also dropped over the weekend. Still, both days posted about a 5% positivity rate, which has been around the daily average of 3-5% for the last two weeks.

The state logged just eight deaths combined over reports on Sunday and Monday, although death reporting almost always lags over the weekend.

No new deaths were reported in the four-county area, with Noble County remaining at 28, LaGrange County at six, DeKalb County at four and Steuben County at two.

Indiana is poised to advance to Stage 5, the final step of its Back on Track reopening plan on Saturday. Gov. Eric Holcomb is expected to announce whether the state can make that final step during a statewide press conference on Wednesday.

Stage 5 would allow for full reopening of all businesses, attractions and events and removes limits on gathering sizes. While that stage would represent openness equivalent to pre-COVID-19 times, health officials have already warned Hoosiers that the state will still operate under public health recommendations like mask wearing and social distancing for a period of time afterward.

Although Indiana has made continual progress and seen decreasing case counts and deaths, others part of the nation are surging right now to record new COVID-19 activity.

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