(Greencastle, Ind.) Putnam County officials announced today that there have been confirmed 427 cases of COVID-19 in the county since March. For a further breakdown of cases please visit www.coronavirus.in.gov. The positive case number also may include positive cases at the state correctional facility located in Putnam County. To learn more, visit https://www.in.gov/idoc/3780.htm.

Wednesday the Governors office announced that they will extend the state’s face covering mandate and continue Stage 4.5 of the Back On Track Indiana plan until Sept. 25. Governor Holcomb has used data to drive decisions since the state’s first case of the novel coronavirus in early March and he continues to do so. The state continues to monitor and respond to these four guiding principles:

  • The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide has decreased for 14 days
  • The state retains its surge capacity for critical care beds and ventilators
  • The state retains its ability to test all Hoosiers who are COVID-19 symptomatic as well as health care workers, first responders, and frontline employees
  • Health officials have systems in place to contact all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and expand contact tracing

The Indiana State Department of Health is updating its color-coded county positivity map to evaluate each county based on three metrics. The tracker will score counties as blue, yellow, orange or red, more easily allowing local officials to determine the best course of action. A current map is available here. The map will go live on the dashboard next week and be updated weekly.

Governor Eric J. Holcomb signed Executive Order 20-40 on Wednesday to increase child care options for families seeking support during virtual school days. The executive order allows school corporations to contract with organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club or a YMCA, to operate school-age child care programs in locations in addition to public school buildings to help families who need care while their students engage in e-learning. Additionally, the order increases from six to ten the number of school-aged children allowed to gather in a home on school days for e-learning without requiring the child care setting to be licensed. Click here to see the executive order: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Request for Public Assistance application deadline has been extended to Sept. 30, 2020. FEMA has not set an end date for the current disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance Grant Program provides assistance to:

  • State and territorial governments
  • Tribal governments
  • Local governments
    • Counties and parishes
    • Municipalities, cities, towns, boroughs and townships
    • Local public authorities
    • School districts
    • Intrastate districts
    • Councils of governments (regardless of whether incorporated as non-profit corporations under state law)
  • Eligible private non-profit organizations

A full list of eligible applicants and assistance can be found on the IDHS Public Assistance website.

With the help of the City of Greencastle and the Corporate Sponsors the Chamber wants to help you with a need you may have. If you are a small business in Greencastle and need a box of disposable masks just let us know we want to help. We have a total of 2500 masks to give away to local businesses. Please email briancox@goputco.com if you are interested in a box of free masks. Thanks to the businesses for all that you are doing for our community.

Putnam County Hospital is now offering curbside COVID testing by appointment only to schedule your appointment please call theCOVID hotline at (765) 301-7019. Please note that the hours of testing will change beginning on September 1, 2020. The curbside testing hours will be Tuesday thru Friday 10:00am-6:00pm and Saturday 9:00am-2:00pm.

As we are approaching flu season, Putnam County Hospital would like to announce that they will be offering a drive thru flu clinic at Putnam Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, Family Medicine of Cloverdale, and North Putnam Family Healthcare. The clinics will be held on October 3, October 9 and October 24 for anyone wishing to receive the flu shot. On September 19, these locations will be offering the high dose flu vaccination for those that are immune compromised and senior citizens. These vaccinations are by appointment only. The schedule your appointment please call Putnam Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at 765.301.7400, Family Medicine of Cloverdale at 765.795.4242, or North Putnam Family Healthcare at 765.301.7679.

Putnam County Hospital would like to remind the community members to mask up while in public settings. Putnam County is slowly reopening for business, but the fight against COVID-19 is far from over. While we encourage supporting our local businesses we encourage the community members to keep wearing a face mask. Wearing a face mask is one of the simplest, most effective ways to slow the spread of the virus, but we need everyone to do their part to keep our community safe. Wearing a mask helps prevent someone who unknowingly has COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. That’s why we are asking the community members of Putnam County to mask up — and speak up about how wearing your mask can save lives.

What else can I do right now?

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% 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.
  • Wear face coverings in public when performing essential duties.
  • We are all in this together.

Putnam County is providing regular updates on COVID-19 to citizens as part of its effort to complement the daily updates from the Indiana State Dept. of Health. The updates can be accessed via www.coronavirus.in.gov.

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.