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COVID-19 confirmed cases trending up in Sullivan County

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The Sullivan County Commissioners were provided an update locally on
the COVID-19 pandemic's recent rise in numbers of confirmed cases
during its bi-monthly meeting on Monday.

"So the trend is an increased number of cases confirmed in Sullivan
County," Sullivan County Health Dept. Health Officer Dr. Michael
Gamble said. "There were 11 positive tests in June and 33 positive
tests thus far in July.

"There is some association with social gatherings and group
gatherings, so the recommendation is continue to social distance,
avoid large gatherings, good hand hygiene with handwashing and use of
hand sanitizers, and use a mask to protect others."

Gamble responded about causes for this increase, saying,
"Theoretically probably the Fourth of July, followed by graduation,
and some schools around us have had proms and different things like
that."

Of course, the next upcoming concern is the return of students to
schools locally.

"And then as we return to school, we're concerned about how that's
going to go," Gamble noted. "The (school) corporations have done a
very good job, actually, of preparing plans for return to school. We
actually met with them today and are still fluidly working on return
to school plans. Hoping to keep people as safe as possible."

Looking back at the most recent SCHD monthly meeting on July 16, the
number of confirmed cases for July was already at 18. Gamble said then
the SCHD was already meeting with school corporation administrators to
discuss back to school ideas. Other COVID-19-related news included
hand washing sheets had been delivered to Migrant Education Program
Coordinator; lots of community education; and Personal Protection
Equipment had been given to Southwest School Corp, Northeast School
Corp., Dugger Union Community Schools, Rural Community Schools and
Master’s Class Schools.

In other SCHD meeting news, the department announced it had hired Jeff
Henico as its Mosquito Control Assistant and that his training had
been completed.

In the Health Administrator's Performance Report for June: On-Site
Sewage, five septic permits issued; 70 birth certificates; and 45
death certificates.

In the Public Health Nurse's report for June: Reported two animal
bites, two pending hepatitis cases (according to the ISDH); one lead
case; zero latent tuberculosis; and vaccines: 64 (VFC-15, Vaxcare-34,
317-7).  Food: seven permits (five temporary, two mobile).

In food-related news, the department is working with retail foods
along with other establishments addressing the Governor’s executive
order and best practices.

Also, fall immunizations clinics are scheduled with SWSC and DUCS; a
car seat clinic is set for Sept. 4 at the Sullivan Civic Center; the
department participated in the Sullivan County Recycling Center's Tire
Take Back on July 18 and 25; and the commissioners had hired a
contractor to repair the SCHD's roof damaged by the Index building
fire.

The health department's next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 20.


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