Reid delaying elective inpatient surgeries because of COVID wave

Beginning Thursday, Sept. 9, Reid Health is pausing all elective inpatient surgeries as the health system works to manage the latest surge of COVID-19 cases. Wayne County moved Wednesday, Sept. 8, to the state’s worst advisory level for community spread, which is the red level. 

Emergent/urgent surgeries will proceed, as will outpatient surgeries scheduled at Reid Outpatient Surgery & Endoscopy (ROSE). All scheduled surgeries will be reviewed for urgency, and the surgeon’s office will reach out to those patients who need to be rescheduled.

Health department: 1 of 4 new COVID deaths was 30-something

Four more Wayne County residents’ deaths have been related to COVID-19, with one of the new victims in their 30s, according to Wayne County Health Department Executive Director Christine Stinson. That person is the county’s youngest COVID-related fatality since the pandemic began in March 2020. Stinson shared the news of the newest deaths with Wayne County Commissioners on Wednesday morning (Sept. 8) at their weekly meeting in Richmond. Stinson’s announcement came before Indiana’s data is announced weekdays at noon on the state Department of Health website at www.coronavirus.in.gov. 

Stinson had sent out a news release Tuesday afternoon announcing three deaths attributed to the virus, with one person in their mid-40s, one who was 60 years old, and one who was in their early 70s.

Wayne County attributes first death in 40s age group to COVID; nearly 70 kids test positive over weekend

Wayne County has lost its first 40-something resident to COVID-related illness. In addition, nearly 70 kids and teens tested positive for the virus during the Labor Day weekend, which is about the same number of patients in containment areas at a local hospital on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Over those four days, Wayne County recorded 227 new COVID cases, with 68 of them being in those 18 and younger. It recorded COVID-related deaths for a patient in their mid-40s, a 60-year-old, and someone in their early 70s.

Wayne County adds 144 new COVID cases Tuesday; drive-up vaccine, testing site at Ivy Tech closes Wednesday

Wayne County Health Department reported 144 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, Aug. 31, while state officials are offering a three-day drive-up testing and vaccination site at a local college to meet increased local demand. Of those new illnesses reported Tuesday, 54 were in ages 18 and younger. After a surge of positive tests in recent days, the 1,428 cases reported during August 2021 makes it the county’s second-highest month for infections. November 2020 has been the highest month tallied for Wayne County, with 1,801 cases.

Vaccinations paused at 3 local urgent care offices because of increase in patients; other sites available

COVID-19 vaccinations at Reid Health’s Urgent Care facilities in Richmond and Connersville and Reid Ready Care at the Richmond Meijer store have been paused to reduce the amount of foot traffic at the sites. All three locations recently have seen an increase in those needing urgent care services, according to a news release. “The numbers of patients we’re now seeing at those facilities have led to unusually long wait times,” said Misti Foust-Cofield, Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer for Reid Health, in the release. “This change will help to alleviate some of that traffic. “For those wanting to be vaccinated, there are still several options available, including our convenient clinic in the Kuhlman Center at the Wayne County Fairgrounds.”

Western Wayne Schools requiring masks starting Friday, Aug. 27

Western Wayne Schools is establishing new guidelines for social distancing and preventative measures and implementing an indoor mask mandate for all students and adults starting Friday, Aug. 27. New Superintendent Andy Stover said the change is “an ongoing effort to ensure the health, safety, and education for the children at Western Wayne Schools.” He said the guidelines can change the moment a decline of cases is seen within Western Wayne Elementary and Lincoln Middle/High School. Stover said they want to ensure a proactive approach before the number of rising cases “impacts our learning environment.”

Some local schools, offices requiring masks; 1 school going virtual

Several news developments have occurred with local school and government offices regarding mask requirements in recent days, and one school is switching to virtual learning for one week because of a high number of cases. Wayne County is now in the state’s orange, or second-worst, advisory level for its number of COVID-19 cases and testing positivity rate. Read more in-depth information about many of these decisions in the Aug. 25 edition of Western Wayne News. SCHOOLS

Hagerstown 

Announced Monday afternoon (Aug.