FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — As cases continue to surge throughout Allen County, many are wondering if we’re on track to face another mask mandate or lockdown.
The short answer is, we don’t know yet.
“We’re watching this but it’s early in the surge, you know,” said Dr. Matthew Sutter, the Allen County Health Commissioner. “It’s too early yet to say if there’s going to be local or statewide restrictions… We don’t know exactly how cases are going to turn into hospitalizations. If you look at India, you can see that in the unvaccinated population, this variant is really devastating, but if you look at the UK, the death rate wasn’t that high.”
He said that the U.S. is somewhere in between that, in terms of number of people vaccinated.
It’s also too early to know how the surge in cases will impact restrictions at local events and activities, according to the health commissioner.
The question of seeing increased restrictions comes as the amount of positive cases in the county has seen a 700 percent increase. Allen County hit its 7-day average low with 9 cases in the middle of June. Now that number is back into the 70s.
“That would be concerning on its own,” said Dr. Sutter. “But, we are also seeing an increase in hospitalizations. So, if we look at our … hospitalizations, they’re at the highest point they’ve been since February.”
Dr. Sutter said that the amount of hospitalizations since June has also gone up significantly. Unsurprisingly, the majority of positive cases and hospitalizations are coming from people who are unvaccinated.
He attributes this to two factors. One is, social distancing and masking that has “pretty much gone away.” The second is higher rates of the Delta variant throughout the region. Dr. Sutter added that the variant appears to be spreading much more easily.
Although there isn’t an official county-wide mandate, Dr. Sutter said he thinks masking up, whether you’re vaccinated or not, is a “great idea.”
If you haven’t been vaccinated you can sign up here. Most places will also take walk-ins as well, according to Dr. Sutter.