State sending strike force to help with COVID-19 testing


Due to Jackson County being at a red level for COVID-19 infection spread, the Jackson County Health Department has invited a strike team from the Indiana State Department of Health to assist with testing. 

To assist the strike team, the health department is requesting an empty storefront or building to house them from the weather and provide enough parking for people getting tested. 

The team will be in Jackson County from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday but might stay longer.

The strike team will have all supplies needed but requests restrooms only used for staff. 

If anyone has a facility they would like to use for the strike team, contact Lin Montgomery, public health coordinator for the Jackson County Health Department, at 812-580-8550.

The health department recommends following Gov. Holcomb’s guidelines since becoming a red level county. This includes limiting social gatherings (indoor or outdoor) to 25 people, not holding special, seasonal or commercial events, businesses having strict social distancing guidelines (curbside pickup also recommended) and isolating vulnerable populations.

Any special, seasonal or commercial event where more than 25 people will be in attendance must submit a plan to the local health department at least seven days in advance of the event and receive approval before proceeding. 

Attendance at winter indoor K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular activities is limited to participants, support personnel and parents/guardians. All noncompeting and nonperforming participants, support personnel and attendees are required to wear face coverings at all times.

Visitation limits may be imposed at hospitals, long-term care facilities and other congregate settings. 

The number of people in common areas and break rooms at one time should be reduced.

They also recommend wearing a mask in public, practicing social distancing, not traveling or socializing with others outside of your immediate household and continuing good hygiene practices.

Dr. Christopher Bunce, public health officer for the Jackson County Health Department, recommends quarantining for 10 days after not having symptoms, despite a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that had a seven-day recommendation.

The state announced Thursday that 2,666 Jackson County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of 116 from Wednesday’s report.

Yet again, this is the highest amount of positive COVID-19 cases in Jackson County in a single day and the first time this number has reached triple digits.

The positivity rate for Jackson County now stands at 21%, a new peak for the county.

Among unique individuals, 37.1% of people tested for COVID-19 in the county have had a positive result.

Positivity rate is determined by a seven-day moving average with a six-day lag. It’s calculated by dividing the total number of positive tests by the total number of tests administered. The reason for the lag is to give time to receive comprehensive results.

The current positivity rates for Jackson County would be for Nov. 20 to 26.

One new death attributed to COVID-19 was reported in Jackson County on Thursday, meaning the death toll increases to 38.

There have been 26,066 tests administered overall in Jackson County since March 18, an increase of 391 from Wednesday’s report.

The latest results were as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The ISDH’s coronavirus dashboard is updated at noon daily.

On Thursday, 8,527 additional Hoosiers across the state were diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at the ISDH, CDC and private laboratories.

This is the largest amount of positive COVID-19 cases in Indiana reported on a single day. The previous record day was Nov. 13 with 8,283 cases.

This brings to 359,430 the total number of Hoosiers known to have had the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total.

Indiana’s total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is 5,748 with 60 new deaths being reported Thursday.

For the state, a total of 4,402,956 tests have been administered, an increase of 60,742 from Thursday’s reported total.

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