Fort Wayne health officials say public still needs to wear masks to limit COVID-19 spread

As Indiana has reopened and Memorial Day has kicked off the summer, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen, to some degree, and all three major hospital systems in Northeast Indiana. They say some people aren't taking the recommendations to stay safe as seriously as they should.

Posted: Jun 17, 2020 6:55 PM
Updated: Jun 18, 2020 10:14 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- We continue to hear about COVID-19 every day and some have become desensitized because of it, but health officials are warning we still need to take precautions to help spread the disease. 

All three hospital systems in Fort Wayne are warning that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away.


Allen County Department of Health COVID-19

Officials from Parkview Health, Lutheran Health, and IU Health-Fort Wayne say as Indiana has reopened and Memorial Day has kicked off the summer, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen, to some degree.

This is especially true for Parkview says Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jason Row.

Dr. Row explained, "Over the past three weeks or so, we’ve actually seen double the number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 every day. In fact, those numbers are much higher than they were in the early days of the pandemic in March and April."

Health experts want people to still continue steps to help limit the spread of the disease, especially mask-wearing.

Doctors have noticed that fewer people are wearing masks while out in public than before.

Regional Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vishal Bahtia with Lutheran says that’s a risky move.

"The younger people who are out and about in the community who don’t wear the masks, they can contract the disease, they can bring it home to their loved ones, and if they take appropriate measures, you prevent the spread in the community," Dr. Bahtia said.

IU Health-Fort Wayne Chief Medical Officer Dr. Geoff Randolph believes mask-wearing is the number one tool to help limit the spread of the virus, saying people need to wear them so they can catch up.

"It gives our scientists in opportunity to develop medications and decide what medications are effective," Dr. Randolph said. "It gives our scientists a chance to develop and test, and make sure that vaccines are appropriate and that they are actually useful to us when they are brought out.”

All three hospital groups believe the months ahead are critical to helping keep cases from spiking, forcing space in hospitals to be taken up as has happened in other parts of the country, which could then limit their ability to care for other, non-COVID patients as well.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 102826

Reported Deaths: 3708
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18697529
Cuyahoga13734505
Hamilton9766257
Lucas5448326
Montgomery443896
Summit3614223
Butler297663
Marion293545
Mahoning2595255
Pickaway239142
Stark1884140
Warren182139
Lorain181377
Columbiana167160
Trumbull1549108
Fairfield141632
Delaware134419
Licking131951
Clark117815
Lake113141
Wood106858
Clermont95311
Medina94535
Miami85839
Tuscarawas79314
Portage77163
Allen76946
Greene71812
Mercer63113
Belmont62326
Richland61412
Erie59728
Ashtabula57646
Geauga55944
Wayne54558
Ross4944
Darke40629
Huron4045
Madison40110
Ottawa39626
Sandusky39017
Hancock3893
Athens3602
Holmes3286
Lawrence3000
Auglaize2636
Union2601
Muskingum2431
Scioto2421
Jefferson2373
Seneca2283
Knox2127
Putnam21117
Shelby2104
Washington20922
Preble2072
Coshocton1967
Champaign1812
Morrow1762
Crawford1755
Hardin17012
Clinton1696
Highland1661
Logan1602
Ashland1543
Fulton1531
Wyandot1509
Defiance1504
Brown1462
Perry1403
Williams1363
Henry1222
Fayette1210
Guernsey1197
Hocking1189
Carroll1135
Monroe9418
Pike790
Jackson760
Van Wert732
Paulding700
Gallia701
Adams612
Meigs540
Vinton322
Morgan300
Harrison261
Noble160
Unassigned00
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