Delaware County’s Emergency Operations Center has been closed to the public and has been activated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Jason Rogers, Delaware County emergency management director, in his Tuesday briefing.
Following a briefing with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Indiana State Department of Health on Tuesday, Rogers shared the following information:
Cases in Indiana:
The number of confirmed cases in Indiana has risen to 30 and the death toll is now at two. The state has one juvenile case of COVID-19. There have been no cases thus far in Delaware County.
Personal Protective Equipment:
People with symptoms should not call 911, said Jason Rogers, Delaware County emergency management director. If an individual is displaying signs of illness, they should immediately self-isolate and use a virtual clinic to see a healthcare provider to get screened. Clinic visits can be accessed at Delaware County Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 hub.
Watch the emergency management director’s complete video briefing.
Rogers said Indiana has requested an allocation from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) — a disaster supply of medical supplies maintained by the federal government.
He said the current SNS request is for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to supply the hospitals and healthcare workers on the front lines. At this time, he said the request has not been granted or denied.
To conserve existing PPE and make every hospital bed available, all elective medical procedures should be postponed, Rogers said, requesting people to consult their medical providers about appointments they have already scheduled.
At this time, he said there are no provisions from the state or federal government to supply citizens PPE such as masks or gloves.
“This is why social distancing is so important,” Rogers said. “It is up to you to stop the spread.”
He said the county’s Emergency Operations Center is asking that all nursing homes, extended-care facilities and medical treatment facilities stop all visitation immediately.
This order, Rogers said, is to protect the most susceptible population from an outbreak of COVID-19.
At this time, he requested only end-of-life visitation be permitted.
Who is being tested?
Because the “worried well” are causing a shortage by demanding to be tested, he said strict guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ISDH have been implemented to only test high-risk and high-probability patients.
This, he said, is Insuring healthcare workers and critical patients are the only people being tested.
He reinforced that there is no medicine or cure for COVID-19. As more testing becomes available, he said plans are in place to make accommodations for those needs.
For those who are “worried well” and concerned they have come in contact with a person suspected to be COVID-19 positive he recommends the following steps:
- Watch closely for symptoms including cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
- Self-monitor your temperature twice daily and maintain a record of readings for 14 days.
- If you show any signs of illness, self-isolate immediately and use a virtual clinic to see a healthcare provider to get screened.
- This is not a situation to call 911 if you have symptoms.
Food and supplies:
Since Indiana has suspended specific Commercial Driver’s License rules, Rogers said the supply lines for groceries and supplies will continue in Indiana uninterrupted.
“At this time lines are intact and we will continue to get supplies delivered,” he said.
“Please stop panic buying.”
He said the Emergency Management Agency is working with Second Harvest Food Bank to ensure food supplies are available free to the public. Details for distribution points are anticipated to be out by Friday’s briefing.
“Please offer your assistance when and if you are asked to help,” he said. “Your family, friends, and neighbors are depending on you.”
He urged people to consider donating blood if they are well, adding that the Emergency Management Agency is in “severe need” of blood donations.
Rogers said every Indiana community’s supply of blood donations will be affected. Blood donations can be made at nearby blood donation drives.
Curfew/travel restriction rumors:
At this time, Rogers said rumors of a curfew and travel restrictions being put into place are not true.
“If the public will follow the CDC guidance and stop all unnecessary travel, visits, meetings and stay home, none of that will be necessary in the future,” he said.
Some counties, he said, are reporting on the travel advisory map. He said those counties must be contacted to see what their specific restrictions are.