County now RED for COVID, one death reported here
As school opens for another year and people are making plans for the upcoming Swiss Wine Festival, another wave of the COVID-19 virus is hitting this community.
According to Dr. Scott Frede, Switzerland County Health Officer, monthly case activity here shows, as of Monday, August 16th:
• April: 15 positive cases.
• May: 26 positive cases.
• June: 16 positive cases.
• July: 33 positive cases (32 of 33 were unvaccinated).
• August to date: 70 positive cases (66 unvaccinated); and one death.
“Our positive cases continue to increase and our county has been changed to RED on the state website — which indicates high community spread,” Dr. Frede said. “While there is no government mandate requiring facial coverings, the Switzerland County Health Department recommends mask usage while indoors or in crowded areas where social distancing is not possible.”
And Dr. Frede said that although there currently is no mask mandate from the state, the spike in the number of positive cases causes him to urge everyone to follow the Center for Disease Control recommendation.
“The recommendation from the CDC recommends that everybody —including fully vaccinated people —wear a mask in indoor settings and areas where there is a high amount of spread — and that includes us, but that is a recommendation,” Dr. Frede said. “There’s no mask mandate in the State of Indiana.”
Dr. Frede also urges everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to consider getting the vaccination.
“If you have not been vaccinated, please reconsider, speak with your healthcare provider if you have concerns, and visit the websites or call one of these three options,” Dr. Frede said. “Go to www.ourshot.in.gov; www.switzerland-county.com and scroll down to ‘Health’; or call (812) 427-3220.”
In an effort to make it easier for members of the community to receive a vaccination, Dr. Frede said that three vaccine clinics have been set up:
• Today (Thursday August 19th): the Ohio Valley Land Development from 4-6 p.m.
• Dr. Frede said that the Indiana State Department of Health will also be bringing a mobile vaccination unit to the Swiss Wine Festival for anyone who would like to be vaccinated there — but urged people not to wait, because there are opportunities to be vaccinated at the local health department each day.
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.”