Photo courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Photo courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Montgomery County Health Department on Friday morning confirmed four new positive cases of COVID-19. This brings the total lab-confirmed cases to 151 since the first case was recorded in March.
The county currently sits at nine fatalities as well.
Contact investigations are under way in connection with the new cases, according to health department officials.
In the counties surrounding Montgomery County, Hendricks has the most cases at 997 with 57 deaths. Tippecanoe County is next at 268 and two deaths while Boone County has 249 cases, but 31 deaths. Clinton County is at 116 cases, one death. Putnam County has 94 cases and five deaths. Parke and Fountain have 16 confirmed cases and only Fountain has fatalities at two.
According to the state health department, the confirmed case count in Indiana is at 26,053. Indiana has now reached a thousand deaths, at 1,508. There have been 160,239 tests performed with 16.3 percent of those positive.
Earlier this week, the health department released for the first time numbers gathered from Montgomery County long-term care facilities.
As of Tuesday, the health department said that Ben Hur Health & Rehabilitation is the only nursing home with reported numbers. County records indicate that Bickford Cottage, Hickory Creek, Lane House, Wellbrooke and Whitlock Place have not had any cases as of yet. According to the county, Ben Hur has had six deaths and 47 cases.
As is the standard, health department staff have launched contact investigations in connection with the two additional cases.
Also earlier this week, the Montgomery County Commissioners Monday morning chose to continue the declaration of a public health emergency.
This declaration was first made on March 16 because of the spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In light of the continued growth of the numbers of confirmed cases in Montgomery County and the increasing number of fatalities, the commissioners opted to extend the order to June 15.
This means that:
Local disaster emergency plans are activated
Certain procedures and formalities otherwise required by law are suspended
The President of the Board is authorized to approve claims, certain types of contracts with the State of Indiana and can issue emergency orders
All meetings of the Montgomery County government are canceled until further notice
All county employees are deemed to be essential employees
Limitations regarding access to county facilities are extended
In addition, there are several other provisions that go into effect, that include details on who can submit claims, enter into contracts, etc.
More updates and other information can be found on the Montgomery County Health Department website and social media channels. Other information is available on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.coronavirus.gov) or the Indiana State Department of Health website (www.in.gov/coronavirus).
Even as the state’s stay-at-home order has been relaxed, practicing social distancing remains vital to managing the spread of COVID-19. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health recommend wearing facemasks or cloth face coverings when in public. Face coverings decrease the spread of COVID-19 and is a social responsibility.
The Centers for Disease Control also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings that are fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials. These are relatively inexpensive and can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.?The masks recommended are cloth face coverings and not surgical masks or N95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.?The cloth mask should:?• fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face?• be secured with ties or ear loops?• include multiple layers of fabric?• allow for breathing without restriction?• be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape?The Paper’s website, www.thepaper24-7.com, has a COVID-19 section with local, state, national and international stories, news and notes. On the homepage, look for the COVID-19 tile and click on it.?In addition, The Paper has announced it will not cut off any print subscriptions that expire during the stay-at-home order so that our customers won’t have to worry about leaving the house to make a payment.?And The Paper’s Advertising Stimulus Program will be coming to an end soon. But local businesses can still apply for free advertising until it does. To find out more or to apply, go to www.thepaper24-7.com and click on the Advertising Stimulus Program banner.