County climbs to 11 COVID-19 cases as state tops 2,500
As of the end of day on Tuesday, 11 Putnam County residents had tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, in Indiana there have been 2,565 positive cases, along with 65 deaths.
The latest numbers, released Wednesday morning by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), add two to the local total reported by the Putnam County Health Department (PCHD) and Putnam County Hospital on Tuesday evening.
The county has had one death related to the pandemic, which was reported a week ago.
In its Tuesday evening release, PCHD outlined the process it goes through when officials learn of a new positive case.
PCHD is the first agency to be notified once cases involving county residents are confirmed, setting in motion a process that involves the following:
• PCHD contacts people with confirmed cases to determine with whom those impacted individuals have come into contact.
• 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 ISDH.
The ISDH updates occur at 10 a.m. and can be accessed via www.coronavirus.in.gov.
Local officials are also urging the public to do its part in slowing the spread of the virus.
“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, visit the Putnam County Hospital website at www.pchosp.org/covid-19-updates or the Putnam County Health Department at www.putnamhealthindiana.org.
On the state level, Wednesday morning’s report reflected the opinion of state officials that Indiana will not see its peak of COVID-19 cases until mid- to late April.
The state total of 2,565 cases reflects an increase of 406 cases over Tuesday’s report. Additionally, there were six new deaths statewide related to the pandemic on Tuesday.
The number of tests administered climbed to 14,375, an increase of 1,002 over the previous day.
Though testing has increased greatly in the state over the last week, it remains limited. The state also emphasized that the number of tests is provisional and reflects only those reported to ISDH. Numbers should not be characterized as a comprehensive total.
In surrounding counties, Hendricks County has reported 91 cases, followed by Morgan with 41, 12 in Owen, six in Montgomery and one in Clay.
Next door in Parke County, there have still been no positive tests among residents. Parke is now one of just nine of Indiana’s 92 counties not to report a COVID-19 case.
Like Putnam, Hendricks and Morgan County have each had one resident die in the pandemic.
The Banner Graphic plans to continue to update local information on COVID-19 on a daily basis, if not more frequently.