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County health officer concerned over COVID rate

"Lax response" to virus cited
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Posted at 4:49 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 16:49:56-05

CONNERSVILLE — The Fayette County Health Officer is concerned over the COVID-19 situation in the county, about 50-miles southeast of Indianapolis.

Doctor Wayne White issued a Facebook statement to residents Wednesday, saying Fayette County has some of the worst COVID-19 statistics in the U.S. "As county health officer, I have been dismayed with our lax response to the pandemic, compared to other communities. We have to improve," said White.

"Reid Hospital is beginning to become overwhelmed with very sick people in the COVID-19 isolation ward. The staff is spread thin. An increase in the number of deaths will soon follow and possibly involve younger people," according to White. He is calling on Fayette County residents to:

  • Wear masks
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid large gatherings

Until there is a vaccine, these are the only ways to stop the virus, said White.

The current COVID positivity rate in the county is over 20%, according to White. He said this number "reflects an unacceptable level of community spread."

For now, White is not recommending that Fayette County Schools be closed, but he is calling on the district to suspend extracurricular activities for the next two weeks. "I want to emphasize that the spread of the virus is mainly due to community spread and not from the schools, and I am heartbroken that we need to take this action," he said.

White said Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box agrees with his recommendations. "As the health officer, it is time to make a firm recommendation to our community and local leaders to support wearing masks, and obeying the recommendations from the CDC and Indiana State Department of Health," he said.