Chesterton Tribune



Revised: COVID19 cases at 75 in Porter County

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NOTE: Porter County revised the total number of cases after the Tribune went to press today: "PLEASE NOTE: Upon examination of every reported positive test result received this morning, there were 8 cases that were for individuals who did NOT LIVE IN PORTER COUNTY. Thus, the number of total positive test results for residents of Porter County is revised down to 75."


The following has been corrected to use the revised total: The Porter County Health Department is reporting this morning a total of 75 positive COVID-19 cases in the county, up from 59 on Sunday.

Sunday’s 59 cases were up from 49 on Saturday. And Saturday’s were up from 42 on Friday. In 72 hours, Porter County’s total number of COVID-19 cases has nearly doubled.

“Some of the reported positives are receiving treatments in a healthcare facility and the remainder are self-isolating at home,” the Health Department said. “The individuals who are self-isolating are being contacted twice a day by staff at the Porter County Health Department to closely monitor their condition for any deterioration. Due to privacy laws, no additional information about the individuals will be released.”

"The Health Department thoroughly investigates each case, tracking down not only close contacts but any contact finding out where the individual was when symptoms started as well as who they were with,” the Health Department said. “Health Department staff has had extensive training in communicable disease investigation as well as ample resources provided by the state.”

The Health Department noted that its numbers are in “real time,” while those reported by the Indiana State Department of Health tend to lag, as it updates its website only once a day, usually in the evening.

Additional Information as of Friday

In response to a request from the Chesterton Tribune, the Health Department provided some additional information on the 42 cases confirmed in Porter County as of Friday morning.

--  Township breakdowns: Those “data are currently being composed by our GIS person in the county,” Health Administrator Letty Zepeda said. “The concentrations are going to be higher in the city, where you have a greater concentration of people, closer to each other than in rural areas, where there is space to spread.”

--  How many total cases are believed to be connected, that is, transmitted from family member to family member: “Five cases are household related,” Zepeda said.

--  Are investigators finding clusters of cases associated with specific places, for example, a church, a bar or restaurant, a business? “At this time, we do not have a pattern that points to specific places,” Zepeda said. “Our staff at the Porter County Health Department Foods Division are working with restaurants to ensure that they are not permitting people to eat in, just drive through or pick up of orders, and they must adhere to social distancing. Some are marking sidewalks to ensure people follow the six-foot distance. We have been in communication with several businesses reminding them to adhere to the governor’s order to practice social distancing and identifying essential employees/businesses. Most churches have adhered to the order. A few had to be reminded of the order. For the most part, people are being careful about keeping their distance and some are going as far as wearing masks when out in public.”

--  Are most of the cases being found in older persons or those with pre-existing conditions? “Most cases match what is being presented across the nation,” Zepeda said. “The highest range fall for those 50-59 years of age, followed by those 40-49 years of age. The lowest are in the 0-19 group, followed by those 70-79 years of age. Those that are of age, and with pre-existing health issues have a higher rate of becoming sick with COVID-19 and it being severe. However, this does not mean that a healthy, young person is immune. There is slightly higher range of positives in females over males.”

--  How many of the total cases are or have been in hospital? And of those, how many COVID-19 cases are or have been in ICU? “Twelve have been hospitalized,” Zepeda said. “Four have been in ICU.”

As of Friday, no deaths from COVID-19 had been reported in Porter County.



Posted 4/6/2020





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