FOUNTAIN WARREN COUNTIES, Ind. (WLFI) - Health leaders in Fountain and Warren Counties are asking residents to start taking COVID-19 seriously. Starting on Monday, November 9th, the health department is asking people to participate in three weeks of serious pandemic precautions.
As we previously reported, Fountain County became a COVID-19 hotspot for a second time when the Indiana State Department of Health moved it into a "red zone." Some local leaders in the past have not been very supportive of taking proper precautions, according to the health department leaders.
"In October Fountain & Warren County moved into a new stage of the COVID-19 Pandemic," said Dr. Sean Sharma, the Health Officer for the counties, in a press release. "The rate of infections increased significantly, from among the lowest in the state to among the highest. The virus has spread into our schools, our nursing homes, and our businesses. Local and regional medical systems and public health resources are strained. The pandemic will worsen over the coming months. Now is the time for action."
Below is a list of the precautions the health department is asking people to take:
- Masking is required in all indoor public areas.
- Social gatherings are limited to less than 25 individuals.
- Schools and churches are encouraged to work with the health department to determine the safest way to maintain in-person services.
- Restaurants and bars should not exceed 50% capacity, and must adhere to strict safety precautions. Curbside pick-up is encouraged.
- All businesses should require masking, enforce social distancing, and employ virus screening measures for employees and visitors.
- Visitation in congregate care, jails, and hospitals should be restricted.
- Any ongoing K-12 extracurricular activities, such as sports and music events, should be limited to participants, coaches and support staff only.
- Senior centers should be closed, and vulnerable populations should stay home.
"Some may doubt these steps are needed or will make a difference," said Dr. Sharma in the press release. "We ask for your consideration and compliance. Consider this your path to a safer Thanksgiving and Christmas with family."
Click here to visit the Fountain Warren County Health Department website. There is testing available at the department. Call (765) 762-3035 or email FWHealthCOVIDQuestions@gmail.com with questions or concerns.