VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - COVID-19 cases are steadily rising for the first time in several months across the nation. This is largely fueled by the fast-spreading Delta variant.
The nationwide trend is nothing different from what local health experts are seeing in the Wabash Valley. They say the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.
Vigo County health leaders say as cases continue to rise, local residents must stay extra cautious.
According to the CDC, the nation saw a 7-day average of between 10,000 - 15,000 cases at the beginning of the summer. But now, that number is climbing to nearly 30,000 cases. This is causing many concerns among health officials that there could be a potential resurgence of COVID-19.
"With the Delta variant in our community, that means that numbers can go back up again," Roni Elder, a health educator at the Vigo County Health Department, said. "Of course, nobody wants us to go back to the pandemic where we are in shutdowns, and we are wearing masks everywhere we go. But, that's a possibility if the Delta variant becomes huge in our county or the state."
Local health officials are concerned about the recent rise in cases, while local community members have a divided mix of emotions.
On a Facebook post, we asked News 10 viewers how they're feeling about this recent rise in cases. More than 500 people responded.
Some, like Holly Cruse-Shepherd are fearful.
"I worry about my kids getting it," she said. "They're too young for the vaccine."
While others, like Brandy Booher have no concerns.
"[I'm] not worried about it at all," he said.
This recent rise in cases is coming at a time when vaccination rates are falling nationwide. But luckily, that is not the case in Vigo County.
"Once we announced Delta variant was in Vigo County, we had tons of calls, and we decided to open up the clinic for walk-ins," Elder said. "We've been seeing a little more traffic, and we expect to continue to see more."
Elder says vaccination rates are still not where the county wants it to be at with less than 50% of the population vaccinated. But, she is glad that more people are interested in getting the shot.
Although a resurgence is possible, the Vigo County Health Department says it should not be anywhere near last year's numbers.
"When we look back at our graph to last summer, it's kind of the same thing," Elder said. "We had really low cases all throughout summer. But then end of July and August, our cases really started to pick up and we continued to have large surges. We are really hoping with the vaccines that this won't be the case."
Health experts are still encouraging you to get vaccinated. They say this is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the fast-spreading delta variant.
The Vigo County Health Department is open for vaccine walk-ins Monday - Friday from 9:00 - 4:00 PM. They are closed from 12:00 - 1:00 PM for lunch.