Elkhart County to roll out new Covid-19 restrictions as the county moves to red

NOW: Elkhart County to roll out new Covid-19 restrictions as the county moves to red

ELKHART, Ind. ---- There are new Coronavirus restrictions, specific to Elkhart County that are set to be issued this week. It comes as the virus continues to hit new highs daily, and the county is preparing to move into color zone red Wednesday. 

"I am on quarantine right now because I let my guard down," said Elkhart County Commissioner Suzie Weirick Tuesday. 

Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have hit a record-setting pace in Elkhart County, and as 54 residents have died in the past 30 days, health officials are providing the harsh realities we currently face. 

"We've had 35 deaths just for the first two weeks of this month, in the entire month of October we had 36, now we have 2 more weeks to go in November,' said Elkhart County Health Officier Lydia Mertz.

As cases rise, a shutdown grows more likely, which concerns county officials and business leaders. 

"I'm working to make sure our economic impact is as minimal as possible, however, because the situation is so dire, and the communities respond to a Covid isn't very helpful we're seeing some businesses shut down on their own accord," said Commissioner Weirick.

Officials are also considering added enforcement at county establishments. 

"Adding the enforcement piece I still struggle, I still struggle with telling people what to," said Weirick. 

That could include fines and penalties for business breaking procedures, similar to what's going on now in neighboring St. Joseph County. 

"We understand it is not ideal but it's not going away and we just need you to do the right thing," said Weirick.

The county continues to turn the trend, and they feel this is the last chance to control the spread. 

"We wanted to make sure the public knew that this is very serious, we're all working together to bring the rates down and we all have to work together to bring the rates down," said Mertz. 

The county officially will go into the red category on Wednesday, meaning the proposed restrictions could begin Thursday. 

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