COVID-19

Cass County will not “catch up” to the rest of Indiana in moving to Stage 3 of COVID-19 restrictions on May 24.

However, Cass, Lake and Marion counties can move to Stage 3 on June 1. Gov. Eric Holcomb made the announcement at his Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Because of the high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, Cass has been two weeks behind most of the other counties in Indiana.

Holcomb and his team also put Lake and Marion counties, the two most populous in the state, a week behind the rest of the state.

Logansport Mayor Chris Martin said that at Monday’s special City Council meeting, council members voted to end his executive order and follow the governor’s guidelines.

“I agree with the governor’s direction, and I will support his decision for our own county moving forward,” Martin said. “The city of Logansport will continue to follow the governor’s directive.”

The number of new cases of COVID-19 has gone down in Cass County in recent days.

“We’re down well into the single [digits] today on test results coming back positive,” said Logansport Memorial Hospital CEO Perry Gay at Wednesday’s weekly joint phone call where various governmental agencies, care facilities, education and not-for-profits share resources and information.

The hospital discharged its last COVID-19 patient on Tuesday, Gay said.

Cass County Fair

Despite the delay, the Cass County Fair is still set to fully be open July 5, said Bryan Kistler, president of the Cass County 4-H Association.

Kistler said the Cass County Commissioners have told him that Cass will catch up to the rest of the state by that time.

“If that does not happen, we will be taking action as a [4-H] board of directors appropriately,” he said. “The governor is going to dictate what we can and cannot do.”

However, the fair’s directors have been handed a five-page set of guidelines from Purdue University for county fairs.

“If we do have a fair, it’ll be ‘show and go,’” he said.

There’ll be one species a day for showing, being judged and then sent home. The area will be disinfected afterwards, he added. There will also not be an auction this year.

All 4-Hers are welcome to show their projects, but they shouldn’t feel they’re required to come. If they turn in their record book fully filled out, they will get 100% credit, Kistler said.

The fair will still have a carnival, so “it’ll be similar to a normal fair,” he said.

If the date had been changed, the carnival wouldn’t be there.

Other news

Other significant events and dates were discussed at the Wednesday joint call of Cass County organizations.

• The testing site for coronavirus infections that was at Cass County Fairgrounds has stopped. The hospital’s ExpressMed at 3400 E. Market St. now has testing for the virus.

• A new drive-thru testing site has been set up at the Logansport Walmart's parking lot. Patients must register in advance at https://doineedacovid19test.com/. More information is available at Walmart's website: https://corporate.walmart.com/covid19testing

• An Indiana State Department of Health testing site is also available at the National Guard Armory, 912 S. Cicott St. Patients should visit lhi.care/covidtesting to register in advance. 

• Father Jeffrey Martin of All Saints Catholic Church said the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana has set May 30 as an opening date for Catholic churches.

• The Salvation Army won’t open its dining room for one to two months but is continuing to provide COVID-19 services.

• The Logansport Community Schools Corporation will continue to serve meals for a month. Wednesday was the last day of school and teachers have been let back into the school buildings at staggered times. Schools will have online summer classes, and each district is looking over what next fall will look like and will work together on that.

Kokomo nursing home

A Kokomo nursing home has reported 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Kokomo Healthcare Center, 429 W. Lincoln Rd., conducted testing on all of its residents on May 11 after a few residents began showing symptoms, according to a spokesman its parent company, Ohio-based CommuniCare

According to an April facility report by the Indiana Department of Health, Kokomo Healthcare Center’s total residency in January was 78.

Of those who tested positive for COVID-19, 36 were asymptomatic.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the facility has reported two deaths due to COVID-19. Stratmann said there are 46 residents at the facility that are currently in isolation.

Latest data

According to the latest update from the Indiana State Health Department (ISHD), 1,564 residents of Cass County have tested positive for COVID-19.

The most recent ISHD report shows 331 cases in Howard County, 132 in Miami, 188 in White, 81 in Carroll, 47 in Fulton and 38 in Pulaski.

An additional 569 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 29,274 with 1,716 deaths, for a death rate of 5.9 percent.

A total of 195,738 tests have been reported to ISDH to date, up from 189,330 reported on Tuesday with 15.0 percent of those returning positive results.

According to the latest update from the CDC, 1,504,830 cases are now confirmed nationwide. There have been 90,340 deaths reported nationwide for a death rate of 6.0 percent.

As of Wednesday morning’s report, the World Health Organization says 4,789,205 people have been infected worldwide with 318,789 deaths reported, for a global death rate of 6.7 percent.

Reach James D. Wolf Jr. at james.wolf@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5117. Twitter: @JamesDWolfJr

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