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Wearing a face mask is the best way to prevent infection

Surge in COVID-19 unavoidable due to opening of schools, relaxation of rules

Contributed By:The 411 News

Wearing a face mask remains the best way to stay safe and prevent infections

The surge of coronavirus infections predicted by disease experts for the fall has hit. Not just in the United States, but other countries in the northern hemisphere where the weather is cooling are experiencing the same pattern of increasing COVID-19 infections after a mid-summer slowdown. Spain, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom have seen infections rise.

Because COVID-19 is new, health officials are divided on whether the surge is the continuation of the first wave or if it is the start of the 2nd. But they agree the numbers are much greater than when the first wave hit the U.S. in February and March.

On Friday, Indiana reported its single-day high of 1,823 new coronavirus cases occurred between Oct. 7-8. That is nearly twice Indiana's single-day high of 946 reported on April 26 during the height of the pandemic in the state.

Friday's count came 2 weeks after Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the state was ready to end the lock down, moving to stage 5 of Indiana's Back-on-Track plan. The governor relaxed restrictions on the operations of businesses and gatherings, but extended the state’s face mask mandate until October 17. An order in July allowed schools to reopen.

Lake County's single-day high of 159 positive cases are included in the state's Oct 7-8 single-day high.

The Indiana Dept. of Health reported the 1,823 high was eclipsed the next day with 1,941 positive cases reported on October 9. Lake County reported 151 new positive cases for October 9.

Today's high numbers of COVID-19 cases are unavoidable with the reopening of schools and the relaxation of rules. Indiana reported its first 1,000-plus new positive case count on July 31. Since then, the state has recorded 30 more days of 1000-plus new positive cases -- 12 days in August, 10 days in September, and 8 days so far in October.

Gov. Holcomb said local governments and their health officials could impose more restrictive guidelines. The City of East Chicago chose to remain at Stage 4 and not advance to Stage 5 because of an uptick in cases.

Outside of the Lake County Health Dept., East Chicago and Gary are the only municipalities with a health department able to collect data. East Chicago reported 84 new positive cases since the state's move to stage 5; Gary, 98; and Lake County, 1,165.

Indiana’s state health department began reporting COVID-19 infections in schools, elementary and secondary, on September 21st. Currently, Indiana schools are not required to report COVID data to the health department. Colleges and universities are not included.

As of October 9th, 709 schools reported no cases; 1,050 schools reported one or more cases; and 607 schools have not reported.

Total student positive cases are 2,387; total teacher positive cases are 481; and total staff positive cases are 542.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box has said collecting school data will likely be as cumbersome as it was for the collection of COVID-19 data in long-term care health facilities.

View Indiana's COVID-19 reports at

When outside of your home, health experts say the best way to stay safe and prevent infection is to wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from others as much as possible.

Story Posted:10/11/2020

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