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Science & Medicine

As Montgomery County Covid Cases Spike, Health Department Officials Say Unvaccinated Should Mask

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Montgomery County has seen their COVID-19 positivity rate spike to roughly twice Indiana’s statewide rate, causing local health officials to raise the alarm. 

  

The spike is being attributed to both the more contagious Delta variant of COVID and low vaccination numbers. Only 42 percent of Montgomery County has been fully vaccinated. 

 

Currently, the seven-day all tests positivity rate for the county is about 10 percent. Statewide that rate is just over five percent. 

Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Scott K. Douglas said he’s worried the increase will only continue. 

“It’s discouraging and I’m bracing for the fall,” he said. “I think numbers are going to go up. We just have to keep getting the public message out there and hope folks will respond.”

Douglas said vaccines are “readily available” to those who want them and he’s hopeful that more people - especially eligible kids - will get vaccinated before the start of the new school year. 

Douglas said he expects to meet with county commissioners soon and will bring up a mask mandate as part of a discussion about how to protect public health. 

“From a public health standpoint we would like to see increased use of masks in the county and we would like to see unvaccinated in public settings be required to wear a mask,” he said.

Since the passage of Senate Bill 5 in May, local elected leaders need to sign off on any health restrictions during a public health emergency. 

Montgomery County commissioners did not respond to our request for comment.