Mayor reflects on COVID perspective, masks discussed at Wednesday press conference

(Carli Luca / News Now Warsaw)

Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer has had some time to put COVID into perspective after receiving a positive test last week.

At Wednesday’s press conference, the Mayor said he was very fortunate that his symptoms were light, but the virus was “nothing to joke about.” He said if anything, his experience with it has bolstered even more what he and Kosciusko County Health Officer Dr. Bill Remington have been talking about now since April during the press conferences, and that it is a “very real thing,” and that the community needs to continue to be vigilant about it.

Thallemer also said his experience with the contact tracing from the state has been an outstanding experience, saying the caller from the state health department was on the phone with him making sure he had everything he needed for quarantine and if there was anything they could do to help. He went on to say that the contact tracing has greatly improved from the beginning, something Dr. Remington reflected, saying they have “worked out a lot of the bugs.”

The topic of mandating masks also came up several times during Wednesday’s press conference.

Both Thallemer and Dr. Remington said that it will not happen at this time, but Remington said that the decision to put a mask order in effect was not completely out of the discussion. One of the big factors in not mandating masks is the population difference between Elkhart County, where masks are currently mandated in the county, and Kosciusko County. He also said Kosciusko County’s COVID cases have not been explosive as counties to our north, speaking on Elkhart, St. Joseph and LaGrange.

Remington went on to say that he hopes that the county does not get to the point where a mask mandate is needed. Right now, Remington and Thallemer continued to pass along the same message they have been providing week in and week out, wear a mask in public places, especially crowded indoor places such as the store, and even in a crowded outdoor environment..