Only 22 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Hancock County yesterday and only 1,529 statewide. These are levels not seen since early October of last year! At the hospital, we are consistently in the single digits of COVID positive inpatients with just seven reported on the inpatient daily census this morning. We are experiencing a continued decline in the number of people checking in at our COVID testing sites and of patients needing monoclonal antibody infusions. More than 3,500 Hancock County residents have received both of their needed vaccine injections, with more than 9,000 having received the first. This means that more people in our county have achieved some level of documented immunity from the vaccination than from contracting the actual disease!
While we have much to celebrate at this moment, it is important to remember that the vast majority of our family, friends, and neighbors still have no immunity to the disease, that new strains that are even more infectious are present in Indiana, and that the three W’s (Wearing our masks, Washing our hands, and Watching our distance) are still the best forms of defense for the remainder of the pandemic.
The path to ending the pandemic lies through the vaccination sites available in our county. We are increasing vaccination capacity at the hospital by 80% to nearly 2,600 doses per week (supply issues at the state have placed our previously approved plans to double capacity on hold for now). This expansion is perfectly timed given that the schedule is consistently, and fully, booked three weeks out.
I am thankful to be part of a community that has pulled together and conquered every challenge this global pandemic has thrown our way. I have no doubt we will make it over this last remaining hurdle and greet each other at the finish line later this year where we will celebrate together with handshakes, hugs, and no masks!
All the Best