Health Department Urges Caution on New Variants

Ashwin Prasad

As new COVID-19 variants crop up throughout Indiana, RN Caroline Pasko warned that Carmel as a whole has not yet turned the corner, despite gradual decreases in both positivity rate and hospitalization rate.

At the start of 2021, the positivity rate for COVID-19 tests was 18.3%, with a 15-day average of 15.7%. On Feb. 1, those rates had decreased to 5.3% and 6.5%, respectively.

“We’ve come out of a time where people do a lot of traveling and social gathering,” she said, referring to the holiday season. “While these new numbers are (a positive development), I’m not sure if that means we’re headed in a really great direction with our COVID response, or if it’s just more a representation of the end of the holiday season.”

RN Amy Fletchall said via email, “I would anticipate that we will continue to see challenges as long as COVID numbers remain prevalent.

“There are also new and more contagious strains of COVID, so everyone needs to be diligent in trying to prevent the spread.”

Fletchall emphasized that students and staff must continue enforcing safety protocols as rigorously as before. “Students should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing and hand hygiene to prevent the spread of Covid. Remember to complete the pre-screener before attending in-person days.  For students who have COVID symptoms or exposure, please refer to the COVID hotline at 317-571-4630 for guidance.”