County moves to ‘Red’ COVID designation as positive cases spike
After several months of low positive cases, another another wave of the COVID-19 virus is hitting this community — with positive cases over the first 10 days of August already nearing the total number of positive cases for all of July.
The July number of nearly double the cases found in June — and with school starting this week, everyone is bracing for the possibility that the number of positive cases will climb even higher.
According to Dr. Scott Frede, Switzerland County Health Officer, monthly case activity here shows, as of Monday, August 9th:
• April: 15 positive cases.
• May: 26 positive cases.
• June: 16 positive cases.
• July: 33 positive cases (32 of 33 were unvaccinated).
• August to date: 28 positive cases (25 were unvaccinated).
“Our positive cases are increasing significantly,” Dr. Frede said. “Our county has been changed to ‘Red’ on the state website — which indicates high community spread. Furthermore, we have had our first death in several months due to COVID. While there is currently no government mandate requiring facial coverings, the Switzerland County Health Department, in accordance with the CDC, and American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommends mask usage while indoors or in crowded areas where social distancing is not possible.”
In an effort to answer the county’s questions about COVID and the safety of the vaccine, Dr. Frede has announced that representatives from the State Department of Health are coming to Vevay for a town hall meeting.
“We will host an informational meeting open to the public at the technology center on Wednesday, August 18th from 4-5 p.m. with Dr Lindsay Weaver, the Chief Medical Officer at The Indiana State Department of Health,” Dr. Frede said. “Our intention is to answer questions regarding the vaccine for those who are still hesitant to receive it. Masks are required for this event. Furthermore, the Indiana State Department of Health Mobile Vaccination Unit will be present at the Swiss Wine Festival, however, there is no need to wait until then to be vaccinated.”
Dr. Frede pointed to a vaccination event being held today (Thursday, August 12th) at Belterra Casino Resort. That vaccination clinic will be held from noon until 2 p.m.
Additionally, the Switzerland County Health Department multiple dates and times available. Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J vaccines are all available at the Switzerland County Health Department.
And as the nation and world talks about the Delta Variant of the virus, Dr. Frede has some sobering thoughts:
“Regarding the Delta variant — the delta variant is worrisome,” he said. “It is 70-times more infectious than the other variants, and now accounts for the majority of all cases of coronavirus in Indiana and the United States. Please consider vaccination if you have not done so already.
“While the Delta variant is more easily spread and more infections, preliminary data suggest that after two doses, the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine is very effective against symptomatic illness and severe disease,” Dr. Frede continued. “The Moderna vaccine is expected to have similar effectiveness.