Wayne County confirms first case of COVID-19 in a resident

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Wayne County Department of Health announced the first presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a resident of Wayne County on Wednesday, March 25.

Although Wayne County was counted as having its first case on March 19, the Indiana
State Department of Health yesterday reclassified that patient to Fayette County.

The Wayne County patient is hospitalized. No additional information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.

“We know Wayne County at this point has more than one case of COVID-19 among the residents,” said Dr. David Jetmore, the Wayne County Health Officer. “It is unfortunate but not all patients that are experiencing symptoms will be able to be tested. If we could do that, we would be able to have a more definitive number.”

If you are showing symptoms even mild symptoms, do not put our community at risk. If you need to seek medical treatment, contact the facility before showing up. If you need food or other necessities you should contact a friend or family member and have them drop items at the door, so they are not put at risk of contracting the virus.

The Wayne County Health Department is working closely with the local and state officials to ensure that contacts of the patient are identified and monitored and that all infection control protocols are being followed.

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb issued a stay at home order that went into effect on March 25 to April 7, 2020, when it will be reevaluated. “The next two weeks are critical if we are to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we must slow the spread. You must be part of the solution, not the problem,” said Gov. Holcomb.

“We understand the directives and orders and not easy on the public or businesses. But what
will be harder is when our healthcare systems become overwhelmed. The Stay at Home Order
is to slow the spread down enough that they system can still manage cases,” states Christine
Stinson, Executive Director of the Wayne County Health Department.

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
• Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
• Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
• Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or
eyes before washing your hands; and
• Rarely, fecal contamination.
The best way to protect yourself from any respiratory illness, including the flu, is to:
• 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.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect
themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a
healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have
COVID-19 and are showing symptoms to protect others from the risk of infection.

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) will provide updates as new information
becomes available. Visit the ISDH website at in.gov/coronavirus for the most up-to-date
information on COVID-19 in Indiana.

Wayne County Health Department is conducting all business by mail and drop off only. If you need a birth certificate or death certificate, you can do so by going to www.co.wayne.in.us and printing the birth or death certificate application, filling out the information, include a copy of your photo ID, mail it to 100 S. 5th Street, Richmond, IN 47374. You can contact the health department at (765) 973-9245.
The Wayne County Health Department can be reached at 765-973-9245.