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TESTS RUN

More COVID-19 testing to be done locally
TESTS RUN
TESTS RUN
Anthony Thevenot waits in his car Saturday morning at Harrison County Hospital in Corydon for a medical team to do a nasal swab on him that would determine if he was positive for COVID-19. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor,Ā Editor,Ā [email protected]

Half of the kits allocated for COVID-19 testing were used Saturday morning and additional test dates have been scheduled.

Dr. Devi Pierce helped register Harrison County residents, as well as those who are employed in the county, at a drive-thru test site at Harrison County Hospital in Corydon conducted by the hospital and county health department.

Besides being a county resident or employee, those seeking a free test were to be symptomatic for the novel coronavirus, experiencing any of the associated symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, muscle aches or diarrhea.

Of the 50 test kits alloted for the testing, Carrie Herthel, administrator of the health department, said Monday that only 25 of those were used.

At least some of those tested during the two-hour window received their results Monday.

Beginning today (Wednesday), additional free tests, through OptumServe, will be performed at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon. Availability of tests has been expanded but those wishing to be tested must have an appointment (walk-ins will not be accepted). To make an appointment, go online to https://lhi.care/covidtesting. For those without internet access or to register a minor, call 1-888-634-1116.

Testing will be offered through June 5, with appointments available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily Tuesdays through Saturdays except for May 16. It is offered to those who are symptomatic, have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive, have underlying health condition(s), are 65 or older or are considered employees in the county.

The expansion of testing comes as Harrison County had three additional residents die as a result of the coronavirus in the past week, bringing the total to 12 (the Indiana State Dept. of Healthā€™s dash board showed 13 deaths for the county yesterday afternoon, but Herthel said that was a mistake the state was correcting). The latest deaths in Harrison County included a 72-year-old and a 90-year-old; both were females. Information about the third person was not available at press time. An additional 24 county residents are reported to be positive for the virus, and 105 more residents have been tested.

Statewide, the number of deaths went from 1,213 to 1,444; the number of Hoosiers tested reached 150,510 (up from 115,834 the week before) with 25,127 of those positive (21,033 were reported positive a week earlier). Another 134 state residents are believed to have been COVID-19 positive when they died but no test had been performed; thatā€™s 21 more from last week.

The numbers are what have been reported in the past 24 hours, not necessarily what has occurred in the past day.

With Gov. Eric Holcomb allowing some businesses to re-open, following specific guidelines, such as restaurants operating at 50% capacity, the Indiana Small Business PPE Marketplace was launched last week to make available access to personal protective equipment for small businesses and non-profit groups that lack the resources needed to comply with those guidelines.

ā€œAs we look toward a safe and responsible re-opening across the state, weā€™re working to remove barriers for entrepreneurs and small business owners that could limit or delay progress,ā€ Holcomb said. ā€œThe Indiana Small Business PPE Marketplace is another tool that will help support small businesses during this unprecedented time, ensuring they are able to continue operating while providing needed safety measures to protect workers and customers alike.ā€

Developed by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., in partnership with the Indiana Small Business Development Center and the Indiana Office of Technology, the marketplace will leverage personal protective equipment that is being manufactured and sourced by Indiana businesses to help support supplies.

According to the governorā€™s office, in order to be eligible to use the marketplace, an organization must:

Be a business or non-profit organization registered to do business in Indiana with the Indiana Secretary of State;

Employ less than 150 associates; and

Be identified in the re-opening plan as an entity that must use PPE as a condition of operating in order to comply with safe workplace requirements.

Businesses and nonprofits are first encouraged to obtain PPE on their own, relying on the marketplace as a back-up source. The state cannot guarantee all orders will be filled due to demands of such equipment; however, requests will be evaluated and filled based on the business/organizationā€™s work environment risk profile and available stock.

To date, thanks to the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state has secured orders for more than 7.84 million pieces of personal protective equipment ā€” up from 6.3 million reported at the end of last month ā€” with more than two million items already set for distribution by the state health department.

For more information about COVID-19 resources available to Indiana businesses, visit isbdc.org/indianacovid19smallbusiness.

Harrison County continues to operate under its executive order which, among other things, closed county government buildings to the public through May 25.

Indiana is in stage 2 of the governorā€™s five-stage ā€œBack on Trackā€ plan to re-opening the state. Provided things go well and guidelines are followed, stage 3 is set to begin May 25, followed by the start of stage 4 on June 14 and reaching stage 5 by July 4.

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