Saturday, March 21, 2020 ~ Updated 12:01 PM


Greene County General Hospital CEO Brenda Reetz announced the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Greene County.

Our local health department and the Indiana State Department of Health will be conducting the epidemiological survey locally to determine community exposure risk and take appropriate action," Reetz said in a briefing from the GCGH Command Center.

"If you have been exposed, you will be contacted by the local health department. There's no need to call the health department and ask if you've been exposed. They will contact you if that is necessary."

With the first confirmed case in the county, Reetz said it is even more important than ever to keep yourselves and your family safe.

"The easiest and most effective way to do this is to stay at home and distance yourself from in-person contact with others," Reetz stressed.

Reetz also took a moment to clear up concerns about testing for COVID-19.

"The testing supplies are very limited nation-wide. Due to this, the CDC and ISDH have put protocols in place that we are obligated to follow to determine the appropriate people to be tested with the limited supplies we have. The testing is limited to the most vulnerable people and the sickest people. Just having symptoms of COVID-19 doesn't make you an automatic candidate for testing. It's really limited to that small population," Reetz said.

Reetz noted the CDC and ISDH may update those protocols as the supplies become available.

"If you do have symptoms of COVID-19, you can manage them at home. The best thing you can do is self-isolate, which means stay home, stay away from other people in the home. Distance yourself from them. Do not share silverware, food, things like that with someone else."

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Reetz said due to the incubation period of the virus, it is requested to self-isolate for 14 days or 72 hours after symptoms are gone. If you feel as though you need to see a healthcare provider, Reetz urged individuals to call ahead.

The My Clinics Convenient Care Clinic is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and GCGH is offering telehealth opportunities to limit exposure.

"If you feel like you need in the emergency department, please call ahead so we can meet you in the parking lot with the appropriate protective equipment to keep you and our staff safe," Reetz said.

"I've heard a lot of people say that if I've been exposed, I need to be tested. That's not true. If you've been exposed and you don't have any symptoms, you won't test positive. The test will only trigger as positive if you are actively having symptoms when you are tested."

Reetz said the she begs the community to take this situation serious.

"Indiana State Department of Health announced this morning that there are now 126 cases of COVID-19 statewide. We now have three deaths in our state. Please take this serious. You all have the ability to help limit the spread of this really deadly virus. Stay home. Stay away from others. Wash your hands. Use your good hygiene. If you're going to cough, cough into your arm. Please, please, please be safe and careful during this time. We know this is in our community now. This is serious. It is real. Please it take it that way."

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  • People please stay home and stay inside with the exception being care for a loved one or child. In doing so keep your kids safe. If you smoke... stop now!!! You are killing yourself, your family and especially your kids. Donít be selfish. Just stop. Kids health comes first. Number one. Take care of your kids. They eat first. They should get clean food and clean places to be. They are number one. I had to go out to check on a loved one today. When I drove through town coming back there were five cars in a line up at the drive through of the smoke / vape / tobacco place just past the firehouse. What would the cost of a pack or a carton of smokes equal for water, childrenís Tylenol, canned goods? If your priorities arenít straight youíll never be forgiven. Do the right thing.

    -- Posted by catpowered on Sat, Mar 21, 2020, at 11:00 PM
  • Is it against the HIPPA Law for the public to be told the age of the virus victim and if they caught it traveling or otherwise?

    -- Posted by Locustdweller on Sun, Mar 22, 2020, at 9:28 AM
    Response by Sabrina Stockrahm, Editor, Greene County Daily World:
    Based on what the governor said last week during his briefing, I believe so. He said he couldn't comment on specifics of those patients, but they have been detailing, as far as the deaths, the age range and that they have had underlying health issues. Unless the family speaks out themselves, health officials cannot release specifics on the patient.
  • Thatís right cat power kids come first no matter what

    -- Posted by hellomisskitty66 on Sun, Mar 22, 2020, at 12:27 PM
  • Ordinarily I wouldn't comment on anything here but.... With all due respect, it must be nice to sit in your glass house. Shouldn't be so judgemental. While I don't agree with vaping, think it is quite dangerous, yet it is still legal. While cigarettes are dangerous to one's health, people who smoke make a conscious decision to do so. Kind of hard to tell people what they can and cannot do if they are doing nothing illegal. Don't you think? Please don't sit on your high horse and tell others what they should or should not be doing. Ex-smoker? Just asking because ex-smokers tend to be some of the harshest critics of those who smoke. And no, before you ask I am not a smoker, nor have I ever been. As for those cars you saw lined up at that drive-thru, who is to say that they have children who are lacking in any of their basic needs? Maybe they don't have children, maybe they do and have adequate finances to buy whatever it is that they were buying as well as fulfilling the needs of their children.

    -- Posted by Granny47471 on Sun, Mar 22, 2020, at 2:11 PM
  • I donít smoke, never have and Iím not very high on a horse. I have breathing difficulties not related to smoke.

    Smoking should be illegal in the same house, vehicle or writhing 8 feet outside from anyone, especially kids. Your kids donít choose that you smoke. Legislators have their work cut out for them as the government depends on the tax of a smoker or tobacco user to then support that person later in life with medical care. Those smokers children are many times more likely to smoke because of being exposed by a parent. They are in a more dangerous environment from the second hand smoke.

    My comments really were intended to remind people to make better choices. Seeing people finish their cigarettes while sitting in their car while waiting to go in to a church, trustee office asking for help for food or bills is where it was really a meant to hit. This is fact unfortunately.

    -- Posted by catpowered on Sun, Mar 22, 2020, at 6:37 PM
  • Smoking kills if people has money to buy cigarettes certainly they donít need to go to the trustee office begging for help

    -- Posted by hellomisskitty66 on Sun, Mar 22, 2020, at 11:10 PM
  • catpowered! Are you now the smoking and health police? take care of your own issues bf admonishing others!

    -- Posted by cat4kidz on Mon, Mar 23, 2020, at 7:17 AM
  • When youíre using my tax dollars to do so well then yes I am the police.

    -- Posted by catpowered on Mon, Mar 23, 2020, at 8:33 AM
  • Thank you Sabrina Stockrahm.

    -- Posted by Locustdweller on Mon, Mar 23, 2020, at 9:56 AM
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