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.