By Dan Spalding
WARSAW — Kosciusko County’s Health Officer, Dr. William Remington, issued a stark warning Friday, Dec. 10, as COVID-19 cases spread locally and nationally.
Remington, who was reappointed by the county commissioners to another four-year term this week, issued a lengthy statement about worsening conditions as the country appears to move into another major wave for the second winter in a row.
Kosciusko County was one of many counties across Indiana that moved into a red category this week in a system used by the state health department to describe the severity in each county.
Positivity rates are now well above 15% in many parts of northern Indiana. The number of hospitalizations across the state is at 2,755 on Friday – the highest level since January of 2021.
Remington described the current community transmission as “very, very high,” and said the burden on health care is “eye-opening.” ICUs are at capacity and deaths are escalating, he warned.
(See the entire news release below)
“COVID’s delta variant continues to find every nook and cranny of vulnerability in the population. I will be blunt. If you are unimmunized, you will get COVID,” Remington said.
The state reports 849 people have died in the past 30 days from COVID-19. Almost 30% of people in an Indiana ICU have the virus.
He called for people to use layer mitigation techniques (social distancing, hand washing and mask-wearing) and said vaccines remain the best tool to fight COVID-19
“Boosting,” he said, is now known to be clearly needed and very effective.
He also spoke in strong support of universal masking in schools. The practice, he said, is so effective that it allows schools to reduce contact quarantining.
Remington was reappointed in a 2-1 vote by the county commissioners after a group generally opposed to mask mandates sought to have him replaced.
Health officials in Elkhart County issued a similar warning earlier this week about the growing impact of COVID on the health system.
About 51.1% of eligible Hoosiers are vaccinated. Nationally, it’s about 60%.