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Delaware County health officials worried about increasing COVID hospitalizations

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Posted at 12:42 PM, Oct 13, 2020

DELAWARE COUNTY – Health officials in Delaware County say they’re concerned over an increase in local hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

Delaware County Health Department Administrator Jammie Bane said the caseload and severity of illnesses in east central Indiana were manageable, but that’s started to change.

"We’re seeing some changes to this now, with single digit hospitalization numbers in the past to numbers approaching 50 at some points now,” she said.

The statewide move to Stage 5 of reopening has caused concern among officials, the health department said.

“We’re worried that the statewide move into phase 5 of the Governor’s reopening plan has caused people to get careless,” said Delaware County Health Officer, Donna Wilkins, MD. “This pandemic is still here. We strongly recommend individuals wear a mask at all times when in public or exposed to others, and avoid crowds whenever possible. We’re seeing indoor events advertised like concerts and wrestling events. These types of gatherings should be avoided at this time. They should not be hosted, and they should not be attended.”

She recommended people reconsidered any plans for indoor or even outdoor events where social distancing and proper mask use are not being followed or enforced.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, Delaware County has reported 2,513 positive cases and 71 deaths, as of Tuesday. Its 7-day positivity rate for unique individuals is 14.2%, well higher than the statewide average of 9.4%.

The Delaware County Health Department said the best ways to protect yourself and others from any respiratory illness, including COVID-19 and the flu, are to:

  • Avoid unnecessary exposure and close contact (within 6 feet) with others.
  • Avoid all indoor crowds and gatherings not allowing for mask use and distancing when possible, and always stay home when you are sick (seek medical attention when necessary).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wash your hands often w/ soap & water for at least 20 seconds. If soap & water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; and wear a mask at all times when exposed to others.