As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the State of Indiana and Bartholomew County, the COVID-19 Community Task Force met today in response to Governor Holcomb’s most recent recommendations.
The COVID-19 Task Force prioritizes the health and safety of our community, workforce and citizens while also playing an active role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus. Through that lens, we will continue to make decisions using the latest science-based information and with careful consideration, understanding that any actions taken impact our entire community.
Under the direction of Dr. Brian Niedbalski, Bartholomew County Health Director and Columbus Regional Health, we are preparing to respond quickly to any emerging situation, leveraging the considerable insights gained from observations of other communities across the nation. This is a proactive measure to act early and assertively in an effort to reduce not only the number of potential cases of COVID-19 our community sees, but to also significantly reduce the flow and mitigate as much as possible a swell of cases occurring in our area.
This recommendation comes from the informed perspective and guidance of not only our local health experts, but those on a national level. Communities are being charged to proactively respond with concerted measures in an effort to best and most effectively protect their residents and preserve medical resources for the greatest need.
Anyone with concerns about symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure should contact the COVID-19 Resource Call Center 812-379-4449 BEFORE seeking medical attention. Those experiencing a medical emergency should call 911.
As a task force, we are collectively recommending the following actions, effective immediately for our community:
- Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people. This includes any event or gathering of people who are in one room or a single space at the same time, such as cafeterias, churches, stadiums, meeting and conference rooms, auditoriums and the like. This guidance applies to professional, social, community and similar other gatherings. Faith-based communities are recommended to suspend all in-person services and large group gatherings from now through Saturday, April 4.
- Bartholomew County School Corporation will suspend all school-related activities beginning Monday, March 16. Schools will be closed and eLearning days utilized from Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3.
- The City of Columbus will close the following public facilities: The Commons, Donner Center, Hamilton Community Center and Ice Arena, Columbus Gymnastics Center and The Cal Brand Meeting Room within City Hall.
These facilities will close at the end of business today and will follow the school schedule and reopen Monday, April 6. All other City services and offices will remain open to the public and continue to serve the community. We encourage the public to call or email City staff and departments to conduct business. If you or your child is signed up for a Parks and Recreation program that occurs during this time period, you will receive a separate communication from a Parks staff member.
- Child care and adult day care facilities should institute social distancing and minimize large gatherings. Temporary suspension of operations should be done in consultation with the Family and Social Services and ISDH in the instance of documented community spread
- Individuals over 60 years of age or those with a known underlying health issue such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease should limit their public exposure. Whenever possible, friends and family should arrange to provide food and other essential items.
- Those who run senior centers and congregate meal services should consider suspending congregate meals services and arrange for home delivery
- Businesses should consider utilizing telework policies, if available.
It is our intent to continue to provide the latest information throughout this evolving situation.
For information on the preventative measures in place by individual entities or for more information, following the below links.
Indiana Department of Health – Latest information from ISDH https://www.in.gov/isdh/28470.htm
Cummins Engine Company – Cummins employees can access company information HERE.
Columbus Regional Health – https://www.crh.org/news
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation – https://www.bcscschools.org/COVID-19
City of Columbus – https://www.columbus.in.gov/covid-19-information/
Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives – https://resources.acce.org/crisismanagement
CDC – When and How to Wash Your Hands https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
CDC – El lavado de las manos: Las manos limpias salvan vidas https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/esp/index.html
ISDH Online COVID-19 Case Tracker – https://www.in.gov/isdh/28470.htm