Thursday, 2 April 2020

Indianapolis and Carmel announce testing locations for public service employees

The Marion County Public Health Department, the Managed Emergency Surge for Healthcare Coalition and the City of Indianapolis announced COVID-19 testing for some employees.
It's an effort to support the essential workers that provide critical services to Indianapolis through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This drive-through testing site is intended to relieve an expected surge on health care facilities within Marion County," said  Indianapolis News Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director and chief medical officer of the Marion County Public Health Department. "We can focus on testing this essential personnel who are still at work in the community."

Drive-thru testing will take place in the Champions Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
​​Additional testing dates include:
  • Saturday, April 4: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Monday, April 6 – Friday, April 10: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 11: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
"We are providing a fast, safe, and efficient testing opportunity for essential workers who are symptomatic or have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case," said Jennifer Pitcher, Executive Director of MESH Coalition. "These individuals are driven to continue to support our community. They are on the front lines and we want to Press Release Distribution Services In Indianapolis take steps to sustain them and their families in any way we can."
Testing is not open to the public, but is available to the following groups of employees in Marion County who have completed a screening and registration process prior to arrival:
  • Family members of first responders
  • Corrections officers and jail staff
  • Air traffic controllers
  • Lab personnel
  • City staff from the departments of parks and public works
  • Public safety personnel
  • Military
  • Environmental services
  • Veterinarians and staff
  • Package delivery services
  • IndyGo bus drivers
  • Utility workers
"These essential employees are on the front lines every day, keeping our city running through the COVID-19 pandemic. It is for this reason that city and county partners have worked together to stand up this testing resource and serve the women and men who continue to serve us," said Paul Babcock, director of the City's Office of Public Health and Safety. "We are dedicated to supporting efforts like these and working to help expand critical COVID-19 testing to the Indianapolis community."
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Indianapolis coronavirus updates: US death toll passes 5,000; Washington Square Mall closes

Washington Square Mall closes due to coronavirus
Property Manager Keith Lee Jr. has announced Washington Square Mall is closing due to concerns about COVID-19.

In an email, Lee said this time will be used to do spring cleaning, and indicated there may be an update in 14 days.

The mall has recently faced adversity after losing many of its anchor stores. Earlier this year, two more — Dick's Sporting Goods and Burlington Coat Factory — also closed.

Lee said some of the mall's stores are still servicing online sales.

Worldwide, the total number of COVID-19 cases was 937,091. There was an increase of 75,000 cases both Monday and Tuesday according to JHU (numbers were Indianapolis News  not immediately available for Wednesday). If that trend holds, the worldwide total is likely to reach 1 million on Thursday. There have been 47,231 deaths worldwide and 193,764 recoveries.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

Report: British Open golf tournament may be canceled
One day after Wimbledon announced it was cancelling the famed tennis tournament for the first time since World War II, the British Open golf tournament may make the same move.

Golf Digest, citing multiple sources, reports the R&A is expected to cancel the tournament as early as Thursday. The sources say the R&A was awaiting the decision on Wimbledon first.

The tournament, formally known as The Open Championship, is set to begin July 16 at Royal St. George's Golf Club.

3,000 sailors to leave aircraft carrier
Nearly 3,000 sailors aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier where the coronavirus has spread will be taken off the ship by Friday, Navy officials said as they struggle to quarantine crew members in the face of an outbreak.

So far, fewer than 100 of the nearly 5,000 sailors assigned to the Press Release Distribution Services In Indianapolis USS Theodore Roosevelt, now docked in Guam, have tested positive for the virus, but the Navy is moving sailors into various facilities and probably will begin using hotel rooms in the coming days. Navy leaders are talking with government officials in the U.S. territory to identify rooms for the crew members.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, however, made it clear Wednesday that while several thousand will leave the ship, other sailors will remain on board in order to continue to protect the ship and run critical systems.

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Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Virus hits Indianapolis cops, firefighters, but no inmates

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is reporting 12 officers that have tested positive for COVID-19, a 60% increase from last week.

In an attempt to slow or stop the spread of the virus, the department has temporarily closed most of its offices. The exceptions are the Emergency Operations Center and the training academy.

IMPD said in a statement to News 8, “We are doing everything Indianapolis News we can to help keep the entire first responder population healthy so we can ensure a consistent level of response for all types of runs we may get.”

The Indianapolis Fire Department reports 12 firefighters from separate stations have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

At the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, five employees have tested positive for the virus, two deputies who work in courts, a deputy and civilian employee in the jail division, and one administrative employee.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to News 8, “There are no Marion county inmates that have tested positive for COVID-19, and no inmates are currently being held in isolation for suspected cases, nor for suspected contact with persons known to have tested positive for COVID-19.”

News 8 was told the Marion County courts are working with Press Release Distribution Services In Indianapolis the prosecutor’s office to lower the population at the jail. The Sheriff office did not immediately provide a number of inmates who had been released.

In addition, when inmates are brought into the jail they are screened by an outside health care provider. The same applies to all jail staff prior to their shifts.

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Indianapolis’ first COVID-19 patient overflow site established on west side

The Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport Hotel in the 2500 block of South High Road is the first off-site location for COVID-19 patients and potential patients awaiting test results in Marion County.

Sources indicate the first handful of guests was checked into the hotel last Sunday.

The plan to house Indianapolis homeless persons affected by the coronavirus was first announced last week by Indiana Family and Social Services Indianapolis News Secretary Dr Jennifer Sullivan during a statehouse briefing alongside Governor Eric Holcomb.

Dr Sullivan indicated the Indiana State Department of Health would take on the administration of the location while Eskenazi  Health would staff the site and the Indiana National Guard would provide security.

As of today, there is little visible evidence outside the hotel of its new role in response to the COVID-19 virus crisis though a security officer is restricting visitors to the hotel where an Eskenazi official identified himself to Fox 59 News and indicated ISDH would be the lead agency to issue a statement regarding the location.

ISDH did not respond to a request for comment.

In making the announcement last week, Dr. Sullivan said, “Those experiencing homelessness are some of our most vulnerable during the current COVID-19 pandemic. They lack a place for quarantine and because they already have other medical conditions they are at higher risk if they get the disease. Furthermore, with many people close together in existing shelters, a general spread of COVID-19 within this population quickly becomes a health emergency and an additional burden on our health care system.

“From an early time in our response we knew, therefore, we needed to do everything we could to avoid such a public health emergency and protect this vulnerable population. To address this issue we have collaborated with an established Indiana partner, organizations already serving those experiencing homelessness and the Marion County Public Health Department.

“Today we can announce that we have secured a location to Press Release Distribution Services In Indianapolis allow for quarantine and self-care for those in this population affected by COVID-19. This will allow for safe accommodations for recovery and free emergency department beds across the city for additional patients needing care.”

According to its website, the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport Hotel covers 22,000 square feet, 271 guest rooms and 16 meeting rooms that could be reconfigured for additional space and food service capabilities.

Dr Sullivan indicated an unencumbered grant from the Lilly Foundation funded the Indianapolis off-site location and would fund other similar locations across the state.

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