FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — For over 50,000 Allen County residents so far, the COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel.
Rick Koomler with Kroger Health has seen this first hand.
“The gratitude that they expressed to me. They hadn’t left their house for months, and generally, their caregivers were with them, and talking about what peace of mind they're going to have moving forward now that this loved one has the vaccine was really rewarding,” Koomler said.
But Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter says even vaccinated Hoosiers should continue to wear masks and social distance.
“Since we don’t know for sure that you can’t transmit it after vaccination, we’re asking people to be cautious still," Sutter said. "It’s just a conservative approach because what we want to do is continue driving these case numbers down as more and more people get vaccinated.”
Governor Eric Holcomb warns it may be a while until COVID-19 is completely in the past.
“When is it going to end? We’ve got the flu every year. People get vaccinated every year, so I think that’s an impossible question to answer because we just don’t know, but what we do know is we have more control now than ever, and it’s paying off,” Holcomb said.
As vaccinations climb, Sutter is optimistic about what this Spring could look like.
“If trends continue and we’re in blue, that opens up gatherings a bit more, and I think as long as people are masking and using good behaviors with that, they could be done relatively safely, especially as we get better weather and we can start having more things outdoors,” Sutter said.
Indiana this week has reported its lowest number of positive cases since September.
The statewide mask mandate remains in place through the month of March.
Despite pressure from other Republican leaders, Governor Holcomb says he doesn’t think it is time to lift it just yet.