Delaware County, Indiana

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DCHD Statement 3/17/2020

Delaware County Health Department
3/17/2020  5:45pm

Residents of Delaware County:

Indiana has now seen it’s second death. To date we do not have any cases confirmed in Delaware County, but I am hearing word from around the state of more potential cases popping up, pending test results. While the numbers may not cause concern for you, we urge you to look elsewhere for lessons learned. Italy is an example. This outbreak is indeed cause for concern. The actions being taken nationwide here in the US at this stage are being done following lessons learned from the responses and the outcomes in other countries. There is no need for panic. We can’t stress this enough. With careful action and precautions we can alter from the course seen in other countries, and we believe we can see a vastly different outcome here in the US, and here at home in Delaware County.

DCHD is now expanding it’s recommendations in an effort to further limit person-to-person exposures and potential COVID-19 transmission. Based on the current assumed rates of transmission, we are asking that business owners/operators, agency directors, office managers, etc take the time to review their operations to find ways to limit interactions, excluding public access if feasible, and consider full closure to the public in an effort to reduce transmission and protect their employees. Examples of this include but are not limited to:
Closure of bank lobbies, transitioning to drive through or online banking only;
Closure or revision of operations for businesses such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, and hair salons;
Closure of all fitness facilities, such as gyms, yoga studios, group fitness studios, and self defense classes;
Closure of daycare and childcare facilities, with exceptions granted to children of essential personnel such as physicians, nurses, emergency medical services workers, pharmacy staff, police officers, and firefighters;
Closure to the public of any establishments where business can be transacted through phone, email, or mail; and
Banquet and party facilities should make efforts to reschedule and/or cancel events wherever possible.

We would like to provide clarification for local bars and restaurants. Under the Governor’s Order, business should be limited to carryout and drive through traffic only. This includes any business operating under a DCHD retail food establishment permit, including membership clubs. Failure to comply with the Order will result in suspension or revocation of your operating permit and formal closure of your establishment.

We recognize the hardship all of these changes have brought and will bring about. These changes are not being requested without careful consideration. The stakes are too high right now to not seek quick action from all of our partners in the community. In all situations, we ask that those with the power to make decisions make those decisions with the best interest of the public and their employees in mind, to limit the spread and harm to our community from this outbreak. We have to remember that we are all in uncharted waters together, and that the way we have always done things no longer applies. With this in mind, we urge that in recognition of this national emergency, employers strive to be flexible with their handling of employees needing time off work due to illness or in order to care for their children.

We want to remind our citizens: While it is crucial that we limit exposure to others, wash our hands, and stay home… it is also crucial at this stage to simply be kind. Be patient with the staff at the grocery store doing their best to stock the shelves to ensure you have food available. Be kind to the delivery driver bringing your family dinner, risking their health in the process. Be kind to all those in the same boat as you who are fearful and doing their best to protect their loved ones.