County officials provide update on employee testing


Three Jackson County employees have tested positive for COVID-19, including one who works at the jail in Brownstown.

Jackson County commissioners received that information from Jeff Hubbard, the county’s human resources director, during their meeting conducted by teleconference Tuesday night.

Hubbard said an additional five county employees have been tested for the virus.

Information about the individuals who have tested positive, including where they work, was not available Thursday. Sheriff Rick Meyer confirmed a jail employee, who had been on military leave for two weeks, tested positive after returning.

Meyer also said a couple of the jail’s employees are choosing to self-quarantine because they have previous existing health conditions.

He said no inmates have shown symptoms or been tested for COVID-19, and all new inmates are being isolated and monitored before being allowed to join the facility’s general population.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announced earlier this week that she has signed an order requiring all long-term care facilities, including jails and nursing homes, to release positive test results involving residents and staff members.

These facilities also are now legally required to report any deaths of residents or staff members related to COVID-19, Box said.

The Indiana State Department of Health announced Friday that 568 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and private laboratories.

That brings to 6,907 the total number of Hoosiers known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to Thursday’s total. A total of 300 Hoosiers have died to date. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by ISDH and occurred over multiple days.

Jackson County has yet to report a death related to COVID-19 although 57 county residents have tested positive for the virus statewide.

Of the 57 county residents who have tested positive, 47 were tested at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour.

Schneck also reported Friday 491 people it has tested overall, with 100 of those tests coming back as positive, 249 negative and 142 pending.

When asked Friday about bed availability, Stephanie Furlow, Schneck’s director of marketing, said it is not currently an issue for them.{div class=”gs”}{div id=”:2gj” class=”ii gt”}{div id=”:1m9” class=”a3s aXjCH”}{div dir=”ltr”}{div class=”gmail_quote”}{div dir=”ltr”}”We have open beds in ICU and MAACU and have not had to utilize other parts of the facility. And, not all patients are COVID positive,” said Furlow.{/div}{/div}{/div}{/div}{/div}{/div}To date, 35,040 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 32,133 on Thursday.

The ISDH released race demographic for Hoosiers with COVID-19 on Friday. These statistics show African-American have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, accounting for 18.5% of positive cases and 19.2% of deaths, while comprising 9.8% of the population.

For comparison, Caucasians make up 85.1% of the state’s population but account for 50% of cases and 69% of deaths.

Hispanic or Latino residents account for 3.2% of positive cases and 1.6% of deaths, while making up 7.1% of the population. Asian residents account for 0.8% of cases, and no deaths, representing 2.5% of the population.

Older Hoosiers continue to be the most at risk. According to ISDH statistics, 37.3% of the state’s deaths from the virus come from the 80-plus age demographic, who make up just 8.5% of positive cases. Additionally, 31% of deaths come from the 70 to 79 demographic, which accounts for only 10.9% of positive cases in the state.

Also on Thursday, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported unemployment claims in Jackson County have risen by nearly 700 in the past two weeks with claims the week of April 4 reaching 1,105. Of those new claims, 62.17% or 670 were from employees in manufacturing.

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