Allen County Health Commissioner keeping close eye on COVID variant

Local News

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — The Allen County Health Commissioner, Dr. Matthew Sutter is keeping a close eye on the county’s COVID positivity rate.

“We are seeing a slow and study increase,” Dr. Matthew Sutter said. “We are in uncharted territory.”

During a virtual executive board of health meeting, Dr. Sutter said that the county’s positivity rate had increased from 6.43% to 8.5% in just a few days. While the rate increases in the county, Commissioner Sutter is paying close attention to surrounding states, more specifically Michigan.

Michigan’s vaccination rate is above Indiana, with 26 percent of the population fully vaccinated, which is about 5 percent higher than Indiana. Yet the state is seeing a spike in COVID cases.

“It’s not really clear why this is. There’s a thought that this could be related to a variance of concern,” Dr. Sutter said. “They have a very high rate of B117 variance there and it’s possible it’s driving some of it. But there is a very high percentage of states that have very high percentages of B117 that are not showing a similar rise. So I’m not sure what is happening.”

B117 is a more highly transmissible variant of COVID-19. Currently, Sutter says Indiana does not have the data to show how many if any cases of the variant have popped up in Indiana.

Michigan confounded a lot of what we thought,” Dr. Sutter said. “Michigan is not following a pattern of what we thought about vaccines and it’s concerning. But we don’t know enough to know what the new realty is.”

A trend that is popping up in Allen County is the number of no-shows to COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The average is 75 appointments per day. However, though the rate of no-shows to get the vaccine is growing the county has not lost a single dose of the vaccine.

Information about how to schedule a vaccination appointment or cancel can be found here.

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