Editor’s note: The following COVID-19 update is brought to you through a collaboration of healthcare partners including Delaware County Health Department, Delaware County Emergency Management Agency, Delaware County Office of Information, and other major healthcare providers.
Muncie, IN—Delaware County continues to exhibit high positive testing rates for COVID-19. As of print, the county’s 7-day positivity rate is at 10.3%, according to the Indiana State Department of Health; the CDC suggests this number should be well under 5%. Since Sept. 4, Delaware County has reported 344 new cases of COVID-19 and 5 new deaths. These numbers bring the county’s totals since March to 1,753 confirmed cases and 59 deaths, as of print. As of Friday, Sept. 11, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is treating 15 confirmed cases, 5 of which are Delaware County. No patients are on ventilators.
“Additional positive COVID-19 cases may be present at Ball State University,” the Delaware County Health Department explained. “Positive case reports are assigned based on county of residence; therefore, Delaware County only receives Delaware County resident results directly. Ball State University is actively engaged in testing and internal contact tracing to ensure proper management of its student population.”
Last week, Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns announced that the university will be postponing its December 2020 graduation. The university had also planned to honor Spring and Summer 2020 graduates in October, but that ceremony is now postponed as well.
“I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to resume recognizing our Spring graduates in person in May 2021,” Mearns said in the announcement. “At this time, we will welcome back to campus any members of our graduating classes of 2020 who want to participate in the May ceremony—or any future Commencement ceremonies—so they can be formally recognized and celebrate the successful culmination of their sacrifices and their hard work.”
According to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard—which now reports on positive cases within the past 24 hours, estimated number of recoveries and more—the week of Sept. 7–13 saw fewer reported cases than the previous two weeks.
Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, Director of Public Education and CEO of Muncie Community Schools, is seeing silver linings at MCS as well.
“It’s disappointing every time we receive word of a new positive test, but we’re happy to see relatively few close contacts associated with the most recent cases,” Kwiatkowski said. “It indicates that in-school procedures are helping, which is exactly why they’re in place.”
MCS currently has 10 active cases throughout the district.
Last week, Open Door Health Services launched expanded community testing services at its 333 S. Madison St. location in Muncie. Community testing will be available five days a week:
- Monday, 10 a.m.-8m.
- Tuesday, 10 a.m.-6m.
- Thursday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Friday, 7 a.m.-1m.
- Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon
“Assuring access to COVID-19 tests for anyone in the county is consistent with Open Door’s tradition of providing access to essential health services for our friends, neighbors and family,” Open Door CEO Bryan Ayars said. “Being able to partner with the Delaware County Health Department on such an important initiative is a unique opportunity to improve the lives of residents throughout the county. We’re able not only to provide testing, but to connect those affected by the COVID-19 virus with care for their broader health needs as well.”
The tests will be of no cost to the individual; insurance will be billed if applicable. To be tested, individuals will need to register and select a testing time online in advance. On-site registration will also be available for those who are unable to register online. This testing is made possible through a partnership with the Delaware County Health Department.
For more information on Delaware County’s COVID-19 total cases and deaths, as well as testing location information, visit dcema.com.
Staying Safe from COVID-19
To keep yourself safe from COVID-19 and to reduce the spread of the disease, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, wear a mask when inside public spaces or when in crowded areas, and practice social distancing.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who tested positive, schedule an appointment to get tested as soon as possible. Self-quarantine until you have received negative test results. A list of testing locations can be found on the Delaware County Indiana Coronavirus hub.
Events with more than 250 attendees are required by the state government to be approved by the local health department. If you plan to host an event that may exceed 250 attendees, please contact the Delaware County Health Department at 765-747-7721.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
People who have COVID-19 may exhibit any range of these symptoms, and some may even show no symptoms at all. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after being exposed to the virus. Some symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever orchills
- Shortness of breath or difficultybreathing
- Muscle or bodyaches
- New loss of taste orsmell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Anyone with these symptoms should stay home as much as possible and limit their exposure to others. Children who have any of the above symptoms should be kept home from school. For more information, read the Indiana State Department of Health’s guidelines for returning to school here.
What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
If you have any of the above symptoms or have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you should immediately begin to self-quarantine to prevent spreading the disease to others. You should also call a local health clinic to arrange to be tested. Follow your doctor’s orders and continue to self-quarantine until you receive negative test results.
Children who exhibit any of the above symptoms should NOT be sent to school. If your child shows any of the listed symptoms, keep the child home in quarantine and contact your healthcare provider for further guidance.
Where can I get tested?
Several local health clinics offer COVID-19 tests, including Meridian Health Services, Open Door Health Services, and more. For a complete list of testing locations in Delaware County, visit the DelawareCounty Indiana Coronavirus Hub.Be advised that some locations may test only those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
Open Door is also offering on-site testing. If you would like to have on-site testing at your organization or event, email email@example.com.