Allen Co. Health Commissioner: Do not relax in Stage 5 of Back on Track reopening plan

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Hoosiers started Stage 5 of the governor’s Back on Track reopening plan on Saturday, but what do Northeast Indiana health experts think of this big step forward? Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter believes Governor Holcomb’s decision to go into Stage 5 makes sense for most of the state, but said Allen County is not doing well enough to relax yet.

Stage 5 means restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other businesses can open at 100 percent capacity. This could give many people a sense of normalcy. Dr. Sutter warns not to slip into that mentality.

Allen County is still reporting about 50 new COVID-19 cases a day. Numbers are steady, but they could uptick in stage 5 due to more people being about and people relaxing from recommended safety precautions.

Stutter said most new cases are spreading within households and at work places. He’s asking that the community not get complacent.

“I think with the addition of this order people are saying, ‘Oh I don’t have to wear a mask anymore, I don’t have to do anything else, I don’t have to socially distance.’ My concern would be if we do that, we’ll have to put restrictions back in,” he explained. “Just be aware. This is not the time to throw off all the restrictions and start getting close to lots of other people. My hope is to keep this at a manageable level, something that’s not going to overwhelm our healthcare system until we can get that effective vaccine.”

Indiana’s statewide mask mandate remains in place until October 17.

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