Putnam County confirms nine cases of COVID-19

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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.

View 11 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Just you wait....

    -- Posted by kbmom on Tue, Mar 31, 2020, at 11:26 AM
  • I find the age bracket for 78% of the cases humorous. What % of our population falls inside that bracket?

    -- Posted by beg on Tue, Mar 31, 2020, at 5:12 PM
  • I really do understand the privacy issue, but giving out the location such as the town should really be considered to be the right of people to know. Some counties are pretty big. All 9 could be in the southern part of the county. Or they could be the northern part of the county. Or spread out. All this does is create more unneeded panic and stress.

    -- Posted by tjarboe50 on Tue, Mar 31, 2020, at 10:42 PM
  • Getting groceries, which is absolutely essential, is still probably the most unsafe thing to do, in my opinion. I hear of people, shopping for themselves and elderly parents, wearing masks and gloves to try and stay as safe as possible; all the while getting stares, comments from shoppers who are not practicing social distancing in the least. It’s the non-believers, in the seriousness of this virus, who frustrate me the most.

    -- Posted by kbmom on Wed, Apr 1, 2020, at 10:22 AM
  • Responding to kbmom's comment, I see the same thing. I understand that some people, given how few people are sick around here so far, and the unfortunate and inaccurate early message that wearing masks isn't helpful, think it's silly that some of us wear a mask or gloves. Now we know that ANY one of us could feel totally healthy, have no symptoms, and nevertheless be carrying and inadvertently spreading the virus. Masks are MUCH more effective at preventing someone who feels healthy and has the virus (but doesn't know it) from infecting others than they are at protecting someone from inhaling the virus (unless it's a tightly-fitted N95 mask). Nevertheless, a mask may help lessen the risk to the person wearing it. Observing social distancing and wearing a mask (even a homemade mask) is, most importantly, how we protect others FROM us, in case we have the virus. Or just STAY HOME--which is what I'm doing.

    -- Posted by ericedberg on Wed, Apr 1, 2020, at 11:26 AM
  • Looking on the flip side of this discussion - if we knew for example that all the cases were in one of the towns then that might give us a false sense of security. We must all act as if we have the virus and stay home and when we have to go out practice social distancing.

    -- Posted by Rockypenguin on Wed, Apr 1, 2020, at 11:44 AM
  • I would love to stay home and isolate myself BUT Ascena says we are essential and we must GO TO WORK! It's sad that the thought of someone not getting a clothing order is essential!

    -- Posted by your mom on Wed, Apr 1, 2020, at 12:02 PM
  • @ your mom. Wonder if the Governor would agree with Ascena? Stay safe.

    -- Posted by kbmom on Wed, Apr 1, 2020, at 12:37 PM
  • Maybe they should be turned in.

    -- Posted by Keepyaguessin on Wed, Apr 1, 2020, at 3:22 PM
  • The list of government approved essential businesses is ridiculously long. I would wager money that Ascena is totally ok being open.

    -- Posted by techphcy on Wed, Apr 1, 2020, at 5:36 PM
  • The Ascena conversation shows the conflict of macro and micro.

    Also shows the conflict for people. Is it really essential? By being open, is it a detriment to fighting COVID-19? People who have lost their jobs would probably love work. Those that haven't probably see the risks of going to work.

    -- Posted by beg on Thu, Apr 2, 2020, at 8:22 AM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: