Putnam County confirms nine cases of COVID-19
Putnam County officials announced Tuesday evening that nine cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the county.
The Putnam County Health Department (PCHD) is the first agency to be notified once cases involving county residents are confirmed, setting in motion a process that involves the following:
|•||The PCHD contacts people with confirmed cases to determine with whom those impacted individuals have come into contact.|
|•||The PCHD then communicates with people who have been in direct contact with individuals with confirmed COVID-19 cases.|
|•||Citizens who do not receive a phone call from the PCHD are not considered a direct contact.|
|•||Due to privacy laws, specific information about the patients will not be released.|
Putnam County Hospital is currently testing individuals who meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing. However, given the county’s proximity to the Indianapolis metro area, some residents are receiving tests in those communities. This is preventing county officials from obtaining an exact count of residents who have been tested.
Putnam County plans to provide regular updates on COVID-19 to citizens as part of its effort to complement the daily updates from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). The ISDH updates occur at 10 a.m. and can be accessed via www.coronavirus.in.gov.
“While Putnam County stakeholders, including the County Commissioners, PCHD, Putnam County Hospital, City of Greencastle, emergency management and law enforcement agencies, are aggressively mounting a coordinated response to COVID-19, we all must do our part to slow the spread of this virus,” said Dennis Weatherford, Putnam County Hospital CEO. “Following Gov. Holcomb’s order to stay at home, as well as protecting yourself and others are essential during this critical time.”
Gov. Holcomb’s mandatory order directs Hoosiers to stay at home, unless they are traveling for an essential service or receiving an essential service, such as grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions. Residents can still go outside for exercise but should maintain a distance of six feet from others.
It is imperative individuals take action to avoid COVID-19 to prevent its spread. A number of preventive steps include:
|•||Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.|
|•||Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.|
|•||Avoid close contact with people who are showing symptoms of illness.|
|•||Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.|
|•||Cover your cough or sneezes with a tissue or sneeze into your elbow.|
|•||Throw the tissue in the garbage and make sure to clean your hands afterwards.|
|•||Stay home when you are sick.|
|•||We are all in this together.|
To learn more about Putnam County’s coordinated response to COVID-19, please visit the Putnam County Hospital at www.pchosp.org/covid-19-updates or the Putnam County Health Department at www.putnamhealthindiana.org.
Meanwhile, state cases continue to increase in greater numbers each day.
Reflecting new developments on Monday, the report released Tuesday showed 373 new positive cases and 14 more deaths.
These numbers bring the totals to 2,159 confirmed cases across the state and 49 deaths.
One piece of good news is the continuing increase in testing. As of Monday night, 13,373 Hoosier had been tested for the novel coronavirus, an increase of 1,715 since Sunday.
Indianapolis continues to be at the center of the outbreak in the state, with a total of 964 cases in Marion County as of the end of the day Monday.
Meanwhile, in Putnam County’s surrounding area, Hendricks County had 70 confirmed cases, with 32 in Morgan, 11 in Owen, six in Montgomery and one in Clay.
Parke County has still not reported a positive case, one of just 11 such Indiana counties.
Meanwhile, in recent days the state has also been reporting the demographics of positive cases and deaths.
Thus far, individuals between the ages of 20 and 69 have accounted for 78 percent of positive cases.
However, those age 70 and above, while accounting for just over 20 percent of cases, have represented nearly 69 percent of deaths.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
On Monday, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box reiterated her assertion from last week that the state’s peak of coronavirus illnesses is expected in mid- to late April.