Chesterton Tribune



Health Department defends policy, says C19 can get you anywhere

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The Porter County Health Department is defending the policy of not releasing details about infected persons locally even as the county’s total cases grew by another 4 percent overnight.

The county reported a total of 217 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up from 209 on Thursday.

No additional deaths were reported. To date six people have died of COVID-19 in Porter County. Two were Westchester Township residents, one in the 50-59 demographic, the other in the 80-89. One was a Liberty Township resident in the 80-89. Two were Portage Township residents in the 50-59. And one was a Center Township resident in the 70-79.

Fifteen patients are currently hospitalized, compared to 13 on Thursday. Recoveries remained stable at 87, the same as on Thursday and on Wednesday.

Total active cases in Porter County today, after subtracting recoveries and deaths: 122  (116 on Thursday).

Total COVID-19 tests conducted in Porter County as of Thursday, according to the Indiana State Department of Health: 1,368 (1,347 on Tuesday).

Health Department Policy

The Porter County Health Department is neither releasing the names of those who have died of COVID-19 nor indicating how or where they might have been infected.

Health Department Administrator Letty Zepeda released the following statement to the Chesterton Tribune with respect to that policy: “I have heard the argument one too many times that it’s our duty to warn others of those infected with COVID-19.

“I ask, will you feel the same, if that warning comes about you or your loved ones? Will you be okay to have your name or your loved one’s name splashed in the paper, warning others about YOU or them?”

As to the particular vector where the six fatalities may have been infected, Zepeda said this: “The deceased was probably not aware of where they may have contracted it, let alone the family. COVID-19 can get you while you’re shopping, at work, walking on a trail in which someone with COVID-19 just walked and left its poison in the air, or you touch something contaminated by someone with COVID-19 and forgot to sanitize it. We are all susceptible to COVID-19, for it does not discriminate. It does not care where you live, work, how much money you have in the bank or lack of it. It does not care if you are in the country legally or not. It does not care if you are tall, short, fat, or thin. COVID-19 is the one disease that is a reminder to all humans that we are exactly that, created equally. COVID-19 does not care if you believe in a higher power or not, but what it does is remind you that you are not invincible. We are in it together, and we will come out of it together.”

Duneland cases by township:

-- Westchester: 17 cases (17 on Thursday), two deaths (two), three hospitalizations (three), nine recoveries (nine). Six active cases.

-- Liberty: 12 cases (12 on Thursday), one death (one), no hospitalizations (none), seven recoveries (seven). Four active cases.

-- Jackson: one case, no hospitalization. One active case.

-- Pine: one case, no hospitalization. One active case.

Hardest hit townships:

-- Portage Township: 87 cases (81 on Thursday), two deaths (two), eight hospitalizations (six), and 40 recoveries (40).

-- Washington: 37 cases (37 on Thursday), no hospitalizations (none), and one recovery (one). These 37 cases include the 33 patients at Porter County Jail.

-- Center: 33 cases (32 on Wednesday), one death (one), four hospitalizations (three), and 15 recoveries (15).


Posted 4/24/2020




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