LIMA — Allen County Public Health Commissioner Kathy Luhn said Wednesday the county is in a “dangerous situation” with an increase of 600 cases already in September.
“Pandemics do end, this one will end eventually, we’re not there yet,” she said. “The delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is still circulating, our numbers are very high and is of very high concern for us. At this point, we need everyone to do their part to help prevent the spread of disease.”
Luhn was encouraged by the increase in COVID testing in Allen County, but also mentioned that the high demand for testing could lead to a shortage in testing kits.
“It’s great that people are testing. I know originally, when the pandemic started, that was one of our biggest limitations, was having enough supplies,” she said. “Right now, we’re almost in that situation again because there’s a very high demand for testing.”
Compared to when the pandemic was still in its early stages, there are more resources available to individuals who want to get tested. Free home test kits are available at the Lima Public Library, but Luhn encouraged those looking to get a test kit to call ahead and check for availability due to high demand.
Aside from testing, Luhn said that the best protection from COVID-19 is still getting vaccinated. After stagnating for much of the summer, Allen County has started to see an uptick in vaccinations in recent weeks.
“We have noticed our vaccination rate going up a little bit more quickly than earlier in the summer,” Luhn said. “We were at 35 (percent) for a long time for anybody getting their first dose, and so we have gone through numbers a little bit quicker. I think we hit just about 39 percent yesterday.”
Because the transmission rate is so high in Allen County, it can be difficult to pinpoint where any one person was infected, making testing, vaccinating and following health guidelines as important as ever within the community.
“We still have people that are asymptomatic, so again, if you’re exposed, you may be sick and just not realize that,” Luhn said. “We want people to know their status so they can isolate.”
Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398