Allen County health commissioner answers your questions about rising COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Allen County health officials are keeping a close eye on community coronavirus spread as cases have climbed to its highest levels in more than a month.

On Wednesday, Indiana’s Department of Health revealed their latest county metrics map, which details the level of COVID-19 spread in a community. Allen County shifted from “blue” to “yellow”, the second-highest level of community spread.

According to the Indiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, the 7-day average of new cases in Allen County has risen to 48. The 7-day average was as low as nine in mid-June.

The 7-day positivity rate has also jumped up to over six percent, the highest since mid-April. Health officials want to keep this figure below five percent.

WANE 15 took several viewer questions to Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter Wednesday afternoon.

Q: With the rise in covid cases in the county, should Allen county schools offer remote learning with the start of school being right around the corner since the virus is affecting more children? – Misty

A: “The governor made it clear that school boards have the authority to decide what kind of restrictions happen or don’t happen. But what we found out last year is that when we put kids in classrooms, even three feet apart, if they’re wearing masks, the rate of transmitting COVID-19 is very very low. What we’re likely to find out this fall is what happens if they’re not masked. We don’t know that yet.”

Q: Why does my pediatrician advise me to get my boys vaccinated after they’ve already had covid-19? And why are the natural antibodies from a recovered covid patient being negated publicly when the studies on bone marrow have shown that antibodies are present and look to be more resilient than the vaccines? – Julie

A: “The effective natural imunity is not completely clear yet. It appears that it’s pretty good against the early variants. It’s not so clear that it’s as effective against the delta variant. That would make sense because people who just got one shot, don’t have that good of protection against the delta variant, where people who got two, did. That’s not true for Johnson and Johnson. Johnson and Johnson seems to be good with one shot. People who got infected with COVID-19 likely have some level of immunity, but its not completely clear. What the shots do is basically give you a booster and sometimes a second booster. What we’re finding is those boosters, that second chance for the body to take a look at that antigen, and form B-cell and T-cell immunity is really really important. It’s incredibly powerful.”

Q: How protected are you against the Delta variant if you were vaccinated in January and February of this year 2021? – Linda

A: “The vaccines that are currently available, all three of them still have good activity against the delta. You can still get it. You’re more likely to get the delta than the alpha or original variants, however, we’re still not seeing significant hospitalizations or death. Vaccines are still giving us very good protection against the delta variant.”

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