5/26/20 Health Department presser

"Even with some of the favorable data that we're seeing, it is too early for us to abandon social distancing, face coverings, hand sanitizing ... because those are the measures that really are our best weapons against the virus," county health officer Jeremy Adler, second from left, said Wednesday.

A seventh person has died from the coronavirus in Tippecanoe County, according to the Indiana State Department of Health, one day after county health officer Jeremy Adler reported a sixth death.

Before announcing the sixth death Wednesday, Adler began the weekly coronavirus press conference with an admonition.

"Now that we have entered Stage 4 of Gov. Holcomb's Back on Track Indiana plan," Adler said, "I would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody that the pandemic is unfortunately not over."

He urged businesses to enforce policies requiring customers to wear face masks, saying "there is growing evidence that face masks or face coverings dramatically reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19."

Nine new cases of the virus were reported in Tippecanoe County today, causing the total number since March to surpass 500. The largest number of cases reported in the county on a single day was 35 on May 2.

Adler referenced the dramatic increases in positive tests observed in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona, where people have been allowed to resume social habits as state guidelines for preventing the spread have been weakened.

"What's happening in those states is an unfortunate reminder of just how easily this virus can spread," he said, "and how things can easily take a turn for the worse with COVID-19."

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