Health officials expecting up-tick in Covid-19 cases after holiday weekend

Tippecanoe County health leaders are expecting an uptick in Covid-19 cases after this holiday weekend. Purdue's student population slightly adds to their concerns.

Posted: Sep 7, 2020 8:05 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- Local health officials are bracing themselves for a potential spike in Covid-19 cases. This Labor Day weekend marks the first big holiday since Purdue students came back on campus. The university has brought in around 40,000 more people to Greater Lafayette.

"Labor Day weekend, in and of itself, sure, I mean with any kind of celebration time, so to speak, it makes me a little concerned," said Dr. Chris Mansfield, Chief of Adult In-Patient Medine's IU Health Western Region.

Dr. Mansfield said health leaders have concerns about all the "first times" in this community as Covid-19 continues spreading statewide. Concerns like the first time school districts began in-person classes this fall, the first time college students came back to campus, and the first time big holidays have taken place since Covid-19 arose.

"We saw a slight uptick around Memorial Day and really track it on honestly an hourly or on a daily basis and say, you know, 'hey, how is this positivity rate over the last seven days going, how are we doing day by day," said Mansfield.

Dr. Mansfield said each month brings more knowledge as hospitals work to treat patients battling the virus. That's why he's confident if Tippecanoe County does see a spike in cases after Labor Day that the hospital will be able to handle it.

"We've done a pretty darn good job locally staying ahead of the curb and almost staying cutting-edge," said Mansfield. "Using steroids when appropriate, proning patients, meaning turning them over and having them breathe differently to open up lung capacity, just doing different techniques," said Mansfield.

Dr. Mansfield said the number of Covid-positive Purdue students needing hospital care has stayed very low. He's confident that the university's Protect Purdue Plan and Health care Center will continue to work well for students even after a big holiday weekend.

"We're doing everything that we can to protect those students and community members around them," said Mansfield. "I don't know how many students exited over the weekend and maybe went back to their home towns but my hope is if they did they were safe while doing so."

As of Monday, Sep. 7 there are 275 positive Covid-19 cases at the Purdue. We reached out to Purdue Police Chief John Cox who said they did not receive any large gathering complaints during the holiday weekend.

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