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‘Top doctor’ visits Fort Wayne; calls on residents to get Allen County out of COVID ‘red zone’

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U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is calling on Allen County residents to step it up with observance of good public health practices. He visited Fort Wayne Friday.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - U.S. surgeon general Dr. Jerome Adams believes communities like Fort Wayne have quite a bit of control over their own destinies regarding the COVID-19 crisis.

He says it's time for folks here to step it up.

The nation's top doctor met with local officials and reporters Friday, saying the best way out of the COVID-19 threat is more people paying attention to good public health practices.

Dr. Adams identified Allen County and Marion County as two of Indiana's troublesome "hotspots" for the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Adams is the 20th U.S. surgeon general.

He came to town partially because he has family closeby, but also because Allen County is seeing COVID positivity rates--where the percentage of COVID tests returning positives is too high-- classified as being in the "red zone".

He reinforced the need for people to wash their hands, watch their distance from other people and the need to wear a face covering or mask.

Dr. Adams is a firm believer in the value of in-person school instruction, but says failure to get the spread of the virus under control could force the community back to restrictive remote learning models.

He wants to see Indiana high schools play football and other sports, but he thinks some school districts in the Hoosier state might have to slam the brakes on those plans.

"I want the people of Allen County in particular to know, hey, we're in the danger zone in terms of positivity rates, if you want schools to stay open and you want to keep playing sports, then we need everyone to take on the small inconveniences," the surgeon general said.

Dr. Adams supports any mayor or governor who imposes a mask wearing mandate for their particular jurisdiction.

But he believes a national mask mandate is not a good idea, saying it's a nightmare to enforce.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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