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.
An accident near a construction zone on Interstate 70 in Henry County on Friday afternoon (Sept. 3) sent westbound traffic onto U.S. 40 in Wayne County for several hours. Troopers from the Indiana State Police Pendleton District responded to a multiple vehicle crash involving three semi tractor-trailers on I-70 near the 124 mile-marker. The preliminary investigation by Master Trooper Barry Bischoff revealed a 2018 Freightliner semi tractor-trailer driven by Radenko Dzamic, 68, of Lyons, Illinois, was traveling westbound in the right lane. Traffic in the area was moving slow due to a construction zone.
Wayne County has surpassed more than 100 new COVID cases in the daily count announced Thursday, Aug. 26, with nearly half of those illnesses in children. The county broke its one-day record for new cases, which has been in place since Nov. 19, 2020. The previous record was 103, and now the county has an additional 105 reported cases.
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.”
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
Wayne County’s COVID cases are rising sharply, and as of Tuesday, Aug. 17, Centerville-Abington Community Schools is joining Richmond Community Schools in adding a mask requirement because more than 200 CACS students have had to be quarantined since its schools opened Aug. 9. In a letter sent home Monday to families, Centerville’s Superintendent Mike McCoy announced the district has had 20 positive cases, causing more than 200 students to be quarantined. Because CACS met the 10 percent threshold watched by the health department for students sent home because of COVID, he said the district was given two recommendations from the health department: masking of all students and staff, and/or closing the school for two weeks and returning with full mask requirements.
A Richmond man was injured Monday afternoon after a shooting on the city’s northeast side. Shortly before 3 p.m. Monday, Richmond Police Department’s first-shift patrol officers responded to a report of a shooting at an apartment at 851 N. 16th St. Fragust D. Ford, 42, was located with a
gunshot wound to the lower body, according to Lt. Brandon Cappa of RPD’s Investigative Services. Ford was transported to Reid Health with non-life-threating injuries. Investigators located evidence and are interviewing witnesses, Cappa said.
After a few cases of rare blood clots found in the nearly 7 million people who’ve received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19, Indiana is pausing its use of that vaccine but will continue offering shots from other manufacturers. Indiana Department of Health alerted Wayne County Health Department not to use any J&J COVID-19 vaccines until further notice. The pause follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration calling for additional review of the J&J vaccine’s safety. However, WCHD will be able to continue offering vaccines from another company. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA currently are reviewing data involving six reported U.S cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine.
In a week when Hoosiers are still digging out from a significant winter storm, Governor Holcomb’s news conference brought welcome news regarding Indiana’s COVID-19 positivity rates. The color-coded maps “look the best they have in months” according to Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana’s State Health Commissioner Wednesday, February 17. No counties were at the red level this week, down from 4 last week. Wayne County remains at the yellow level first achieved last week; however, the infection level decreased from 1.5 to level 1. While this is a reason to be optimistic, County residents must continue to be diligent about measures to keep the spread contained until the majority are vaccinated. Other highlights:
Because of the unpredictability of when vaccine shipments will arrive in the state, Indiana will keep the threshold of those eligible at 65 and older. Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana’s Chief Medical Officer suggests that anyone receiving the first vaccine dose should take a picture of their vaccination card to help ensure the second dose is from the same manufacturer. Many organizations are helping with registration, transportation, and other barriers to getting vaccines into the arms of those who are eligible, including Area Agencies on Aging, AARP, library staff across the state and managed care partners. Success stories were shared as these contacts have reached people who said they had not previously planned to get vaccinated. Dr. Box responded to a question about whether individuals who test positive with a variant strain of COVID are notified. She responded that they are as ISDH wants to do additional contact tracing. The other strains have been found to be more contagious than the dominant strain the US has fought since the pandemic first began.
At a time when small towns all over the country find themselves struggling, Cambridge City, Indiana, is bucking that trend. People drive from miles around to visit its antique shops and eat at its many restaurants. There are several new businesses on Main Street, and active construction/renovation projects promise more to come. Gateway Industrial Park has three thriving tenants and the local Chamber of Commerce has more than 50 members, including manufacturers, service providers, retail and more. “We are on a roll,” said Jim King of the Cambridge City Main Street organization.