New testing center

A third COVID-19 testing facility has opened in Logansport. The newest testing site is located south of the Farmer’s Market lot in the building that formerly housed the Salvation Army and a downtown visitor center on Fourth Street.

According to the latest update from the Indiana State Health Department (ISHD), a seventh death from COVID-19 has been reported in Cass County and a 20th death has been reported in Howard County.

As of Wednesday’s update, 1,586 residents of Cass County have tested positive for COVID-19 — an increase of four from Tuesday’s report.

As of Wednesday, Logansport Memorial Hospital had one patient being treated for COVID-19 and three patients waiting on test results.

The hospital also has two entrances open now and is restarting surgeries — slowly, said hospital Chief Executive Officer Perry Gay.

“We’re still being cautious,” he said.

There’s been a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases in the area, apparently centered at Global Harvest Foods in Reynolds and Indiana Packers in Delphi, both including mostly White County residents, Gay said.

Gay gave the statistics at the last of the weekly COVID community calls, where officials from non-profits, government entities, medical providers and law enforcement would share resources, provide insights, identify community needs and problems from COVID-19 and offer help during the pandemic.

The call, which had about 30 regular participants, will continue on a bi-monthly basis.

Members felt that having so many groups and government entities communicating regularly is a good thing for Logansport and Cass County.

The calls will also resume the weekly schedule if there is a COVID-19 flare up.

Also during the call, Emmaus Mission Executive Director Jason Mitchell said the organization has seen a slight uptick in people needing food recently. Emmaus is seeing about 50 families a day rather than 30 to 40.

New testing site

A third COVID-19 testing facility has opened in Logansport. The newest Indiana State Department of Health/Optum COVID-19 testing site is located south of the Farmer’s Market lot in the building that formerly housed the Salvation Army and a downtown visitor center on Fourth Street.

The facility is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. To register for testing at this location, visit lhi.care/covidtesting.

Additional testing sites are at Express Medical Center at Cass Plaza, 3400 E. Market, and the Walmart parking lot, 240 Mall Rd.

Small business aid plan

Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, Indiana will receive $2.4 billion total for virus-related expenditures between March and December of 2020.

The state previously announced that $300 million would be sent to municipalities for their COVID-19 expenses related to public health.

“Later or in the near future, the governor is going to be announcing a small business programs that will help bridge the expenses,” Cris Johnston, the director of the Office of Management & Budget, said Wednesday. “This program we’re going to look at is going to be complimentary to (the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program).”

As of Tuesday, the Small Business Administration had distributed nearly $9.4 billion to 73,430 Hoosier businesses in forgivable loans. Businesses with less than 500 employees can apply for funds and have the loan forgiven if they spend the relief on employee salaries or fixed expenses such as mortgage or rent payments.

Johnston said another possible use for the relief funds would be staffing assistance for the Department of Corrections or recovering costs related to deploying the Indiana National Guard.

The state had received other funding for education programs and support for transit authorities for a total of approximately $5 billion. About $3.5 billion of that spending would be determined by state government, Johnston said.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said the state had also applied for $61 million for remote learning support related to K-12 schools.

“That’s the whole package [and] includes the social and emotional piece,” Katie Jenner, an education advisor to Holcomb, said. “There’ll be more information to come soon.”

Some states have elected to spend their virus relief funding expanding broadband access or rental assistance.

Holcomb added that the state would award $70 million in the next round of rural broadband allocations set for July.

“Indiana is far away ahead of most every other state in terms of state dollars that we’re devoting to internet connections,” Holcomb said.

Latest data

The most recent ISHD report shows 376 cases in Howard County, 139 in Miami, 228 in White, 93 in Carroll, 47 in Fulton and 40 in Pulaski.

An additional 359 cases have been confirmed statewide by the ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Cass County Health Department, Memorial Hospital and private laboratories. That brings the statewide total to 32,437 with 1,871 deaths, for a death rate of 5.8 percent.

A total of 235,333 tests have been reported to ISDH to date, up from 230,749 reported on Tuesday with 13.8 percent of those returning positive results.

According to the latest update from the CDC, 1,637,456 cases are now confirmed nationwide. There have been 97,669 deaths reported nationwide for a death rate of 6.0 percent.

As of Wednesday morning’s report, the World Health Organization says 5,370,375 people have been infected worldwide with 344,454 deaths reported, for a global death rate of 6.4 percent.

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