Fountain and Warren counties

As of Oct. 14, 2020, for the second day in a row, Fountain County has had the highest rate of COVID-19 test positivity rate when compared to all other 92 counties. A color-coding metric from the Indiana State Department of Health that is updated weekly was released today showing Fountain County in “Red” and Warren County in “Orange”. This suggests significant community spread within the county.

Contact tracing, the work done by public health officials to determine the cause of the outbreak, has traced many of these cases to group gatherings, and poor compliance with safety protocols the most important of which is masking. “Church gatherings, weddings, and other less formal get-togethers have been found to be the initial source of the spread,” according to Health Officer Dr. Sean Sharma.

“Unfortunately, the disease has spread from the community into our schools and our healthcare system, causing disruption in education and healthcare delivery. Covington Community Schools has moved to distance learning since October 6th, and the Ascension Veedersburg Clinic is currently offering only virtual visits. Other school systems and organizations are continuing to work with the Fountain & Warren County Health Department to make decisions on in-person schooling, extracurricular events, and other community plans,” reported Dr. Sharma.

Dr. Sharma has a message for local residents, “We urge all residents of Fountain & Warren County to take this situation seriously. COVID-19 is a dangerous and deadly virus, but it is not complicated. We know how to slow the spread and the message has not changed for the last six months. It takes our community working together to protect one another. We must focus on what we can control and what we can do.”

The Fountain & Warren County Health Department would like to remind all to follow these simple rules:

— MASKING – Wear a mask at all time if you are in an indoor public space. Masking is also advised when around others in an indoor private space, or when attending outdoor events where social distancing is not guaranteed.

— AVOID CROWDS – Avoid crowded places. This includes both indoor and outdoor settings.

— AVOID RECREATIONAL, HIGH-RISK ACTIVITIES – Limit activities: necessary or emergencies only. For tips on safe recreational activities and travel go to FWHealth.org.

— KEEP YOUR DISTANCE – If you must go into an indoor public space, maintain at least 6 feet away from others.

— STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK – Even if you are only mildly ill, stay home.

— WASH or SANITIZE – Keep your hands well and frequently cleaned.

— FOLLOW QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION GUIDELINES – Isolation is for those feeling sick, and is at least 10 days from onset of symptoms. Quarantine is for those exposed to COVID-19, and is at least 14 days from last exposure. While on quarantine or isolation you should stay in your home and minimize all outside contact.

All residents of Fountain & Warren County should get tested for COVID-19 if you are sick or have concerns about having been exposed to COVID-19. TESTING is available at the Fountain & Warren County Health Department by appointment only. To request testing, please go to FWHealth.org, or call (765) 762-3035.