First case of COVID-19 in Dubois County confirmed

From Local Sources

The Dubois County Health Department announced Sunday the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the county.

No other details were released about the patient, and when The Herald requested additional details from the agency, the health department said no further information can be released due to privacy laws.

“We have worked closely with local and state officials to ensure that preliminary contacts of the patient have been identified, and that infection control protocols are being followed,” Dubois County Health Department Administrative Director Jo Ann Spaulding said via email.

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 58 new cases in the state this morning, bringing the statewide total to 259. Seven Hoosiers have died from the virus, and 1,960 Hoosiers have been tested.

“We anticipate total positive cases and total tested numbers to rise sharply in the coming weeks due to the increase in testing capacity,” the county health department said via a press release. “This is not a cause for panic. With careful action and precautions, we can alter the course seen in other countries around the world and even in other states that have been impacted.”

According to the county health department, the main focus right now is to avoid exposure to the virus.

Continue to wash your hands often with soap and water; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; practice social distancing of at least 6 feet; and stay home as much as possible.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider or the Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center Alternative Screening Site at 812-996-6330. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The health department is encouraging social distancing, not social isolation.

“Go outside. Take time to check on your friends, phone an elderly neighbor,” the department suggests. “Be courteous. Be kind to one another.”

The county health department advised Sunday the voluntary closure of non-essential retail businesses in the county in an effort to limit close person-to-person contact. Those non-essential retail businesses are places like nail salons, spas, cosmetology/barber shops, liquor stores, body art/tattoo establishments, tanning salons, massage and acupuncture establishments, electronic stores, department stores, hobby/craft stores, automotive dealerships, furniture stores, clothing stores, retail stores, and any other in-person retail businesses.

This does not prohibit the operation of essential retail business, the health department said. Essential retail businesses include health care facilities, pharmacies, facilities that sell food products, gas stations, auto repair shops (including automotive dealership repair operations), factories, hardware stores, telecommunications stores, and other essential retail.

The department added that this does not prohibit the operation of drive-thru, takeout, curbside and delivery services, provided social distancing is practiced and gatherings are limited to fewer than 10 people.

The Dubois County Health Department has also closed to the public, as it devotes all of its resources to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

All birth and death certificates must be submitted by mail or to VITALCHEK.com.




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