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. Delaware County weekly COVID-19 updates are released every Thursday and include information from the Indiana State Department of Health county metrics dashboard, which is updated every Wednesday afternoon.
Muncie, IN—Maintaining its orange ranking on the Indiana State Department of Health’s color-coded county metrics map, Delaware County continues to exhibit a “moderate to high spread” of COVID-19. As of Oct. 22, the county has reported 323 new cases of the virus and 3 new deaths in the past week. The county’s 7-day positivity rate currently comes in at 10.7%, an increase from last week’s rate of 9.4%; the CDC suggests this number should be well under 5%.
As of Oct. 20, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is treating 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 7 of which are on ventilators.
In a meeting with Delaware County Commissioners on Monday, Jammie Bane, administrator of the Delaware County Health Department, said the community can no longer blame Ball State University for the uptick in cases.
The university’s COVID-19 dashboard indicates that, as of Oct. 21, there are an estimated 45 active cases on campus. On Monday, the university said 95% of isolation space and 97% of quarantine space remain available.
Muncie Community Schools is seeing similarly low numbers. As of Oct. 20, it has 14 positive cases system-wide.
“We had been fearful of a spike in positive cases coming off of fall break, but we’ve yet to really see that,” said Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, director of public education/CEO for MCS. “We know quarantine rules and return protocols can be confusing, so we recently created a document to try to make it easier for parents to understand.”
Students and families at MCS, as well as at Burris Laboratory School and The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities, can also now view up-to-date, essential COVID-19 information online at educationsupporthub.com.
As health officials echoed last week, it is now up to the community to pull through with following safety guidelines.
And while the continued rise in COVID-19 is concerning in itself, health officials are issuing additional caution as we head into colder months and flu season.
“Moving into flu season presents an added risk to our health. That is why it is extremely important to not let our guards down and to continue practicing every safety measure—like wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing, as well as getting a flu vaccination—in order to keep ourselves, and those around us, safe,” said Dr. Jeff Bird, president of IU Health East Central Region. “Receiving the flu vaccination will prove vital to help reduce the impact of respiratory illnesses on the population and overall lessen the burden on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
IU Health and Open Door are partnering to provide no-cost flu shot events in Delaware County and surrounding areas this fall. One of these flu shot events will be this Friday at the Avondale Neighborhood Health Fair; flu shots will be available from noon to 3 p.m. at the Ross Community Center (1110 W 10th St.). A list of additional flu shot events can be found at opendoorhs.org/flu.
Also at the Avondale Neighborhood Health Fair, Open Door will be providing drive-up and walk-up COVID-19 testing in the parking lot of Avondale United Methodist Church, (1314 W 10th St.) No pre-registration is needed.
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 or chills
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Muscle or body aches
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• 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.
Open Door offers free community tests for individuals with or without symptoms, made available through a partnership with the Delaware County Health Department. (Insurance will billed if applicable.) Those who wish to get tested must register online in advance at opendoorhs.org/testing.
For a complete list of testing locations in Delaware County, visit the Delaware County Indiana Coronavirus Hub. Be advised that some locations may test only those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.