(Greencastle, Ind.) Putnam County officials provided a daily COVID-19 update to the public today, which includes a new visitor policy at Putnam County Hospital and free testing for healthcare professionals and first responders by the Lilly Clinic.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county still stands at nine. Earlier today, the Indiana State Department of Health reported 11 cases; however, according to the Putnam County Health Department, the two additional cases were from neighboring counties.
Effective April 2, 2020 at 6 a.m., Putnam County Hospital will enact a no visitors policy to protect patients and the hospital community from COVID-19. The hospital will be establishing ways for families and loved ones to communicate with patients, including designated apps and shared tools for patients who do not have access to personal technology devices.
The PCH hospitalist and leadership will apply their discretion to special circumstances involving minor children accompaniment and end of life care, to ensure patients, their families and loved ones are cared for in the most compassionate way during this time.
Additional updates include:
- Drive through testing for healthcare professionals and first responders at the Lilly Clinic. This service does not include family members or close contacts, and requires a signed order for testing. Visit https://lillycovid19testing.com for more information.
- Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-14 Continuation of Executive Orders 20-04, 20-10 & 20-11 Pertaining to Restaurants and Alcoholic Beverages that extends the original Executive Order 20-04 to 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, to align with the stay at home order (Executive Order 20-08). There is a new provision that prohibits all portions of the premises of a dining establishment, including not only interior areas but also patios, areas of outside seating and parking lots.
Governor Holcomb’s mandatory stay-at-home 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
- 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 Department of Health (ISDH). The ISDH updates occur at 10 a.m. and 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.