TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) —The Tippecanoe County Health Department is reacting to the CDC's newest COVID-19 guidelines.
"This is probably the beginning of our surge," said Tippecanoe County Health Administrator Khala Hochstedler. "I was hoping that we would make it until September, but I'm not sure now that we will."
Hochstedler said COVID rates are not getting better.
"The hospitals are filling up," she said. "We are increasing, our daily count is holding steady way more than it was two weeks ago."
She said a lack of people getting vaccinated is to blame.
"If you're in health care, you're burnt out at this point and you're frustrated," she said.
Hochstedler said the health department is strongly encouraging people to follow the recently updated CDC guidelines for COVID-19 guidelines.
"We have high risk of transmission right now," Hochstedler explained. "So, we're encouraging to put that mask back on."
The CDC now says that fully vaccinated Americans should wear masks in indoor public settings where there is substantial or high transmission of the coronavirus.
It's also recommending all staff and students wear masks in schools from K through 12 regardless of vaccination status.
"We need to revisit our playbook that we created last year," said IU Health Arnett Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Bien.
Bien agrees with the recommendations, especially with the risks associated with the Delta variant.
"Things that I would encourage people to reflect upon is who are they contacting in their personal lives that may be at a particular risk for COVID were they to get it," Bien said.
Hochstedler said the health department has reached out to local schools, encouraging them to rethink their mask policies, and they're asking for other people to start masking up again.
"We're begging you, at this point, to put the mask on," Hochstedler said.
While Hochstedler said there has been an increase in vaccinations at the county clinic, more people need to get their shot.
She has some advice for anyone who is still skeptical.
"You trust your provider for other health matters," she said. "Reach out and ask."
So, far no Tippecanoe County public schools have updated their plans for masks for the upcoming school year.
News 18 also reached out to Purdue about the guidelines and were told there are no updates yet, but any changes will be posted on the Protect Purdue website.
We will continue to follow up with them and have the latest on air and online.