St. Joseph County sees rise in positive COVID cases
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- We are tracking an uptick in COVID-19 cases in St. Joseph County. The latest numbers from the department of health show a steady increase in the number of cases week after week in our local Indiana counties.
After talking with local health leaders and looking at the data, I found out St. Joseph County isn’t the only county seeing an uptick in COVID cases.
LaPorte and Fulton counties are seeing similar numbers too.
“We know these numbers are under reported. The numbers that we put out or even what the state puts out based on laboratory confirmed COVID diagnoses. The vast majority of people are testing with at home tests," said Dr. Mark Fox Deputy Health Officer for the St. Joseph Department of Health.
More people are testing for COVID at home and Dr. Fox warns that case counts are higher than what's being reported by the department of health.
Dr. Fox says the focus now is on preventing others from spreading the virus.
“Our estimates are that somewhere between 3 to 5 as many people are actually positive at any given time in the community,” Dr. Fox says.
Those numbers are based on what is being reported in labs.
People testing at home do not have an efficient method of reporting positive COVID tests to the state.
If you test positive, the CDC recommends you isolate at home for at least 5 days.
After that, you can return to normal activities, as long as you are fever-free for 24 hours and your symptoms are improving.
“There’s not really an effective way for them to report so the most important thing is that people are testing and acting appropriately based on those results,” said Dr. Fox.
Health officials say the BA5 Omicron Variant is the prominent variant spreading locally and across the country.
As we get closer to school starting up in August, the main concern is reinfection that is possible within 4 to 6 weeks of recovering.
Dr. Fox recommends being diligent with precautions such as masks and vaccination.