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The Fountain & Warren County Health Department (FW Health) continues to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although cases are down significantly when compared to January of 2021, positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 continue to happen locally. In the last 30 days from late June, there have been 80 positive tests and two deaths from COVID-19 in residents from Fountain & Warren Counties. Cases have roughly doubled from the prior month, and have been of all ages from

Much of this recent increase is due to the Delta Variant of COVID-19. This strain of COVID-19 is easier to spread from person to person. The Delta Variant has been confirmed to be present locally, and is felt to account for most of the current cases of COVID-19.

Layers of Protection Needed: Appropriate safety measures for our community from COVID-19 includes several layers of protection. The most important of these are vaccination, masking, testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine. Vaccinations remain the most important part of a layered protection strategy for COVID-19.

The Fountain & Warren County Health Department, in line with the CDC and the Indiana Department of Health, strongly advises the following:

•Those who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in all indoor public places.

•Individuals who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 should isolate.

•Individuals exposed to COVID-19 should be tested and quarantine.

•All eligible individuals should get vaccinated for COVID-19.

This advisory applies to all of Fountain & Warren County including workplaces, schools, churches, and other establishments. These guidelines are meant to protect our community now and from an expected increase in COVID-19 cases this fall. Vaccination: The vaccines for COVID-19 have exceeded expectations in terms of effectiveness and safety. All vaccine types (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson) continue to be available at the Fountain & Warren County Health Department, and through local pharmacies. FW Health is partnering with Ascension Williamsport to increase vaccine availability at the primary care offices in Williamsport and Veedersburg. To find out how to get your vaccine, contact FW Health at (765) 762-3035. Vaccination rates in Fountain County are among the lowest in the state at approximately 36% of eligible individuals being vaccinated. Vaccination rates vary significantly by zip code:

•47918at 42.5% vaccinated

•47932 at 34.7% vaccinated

•47987 at 29.6% vaccinated

•47952 at 27.2% vaccinated

Vaccination rates in Warren County are just below the state average with 42% of eligible individuals being vaccinated. Vaccination rates for select zip codes are below:

•47975 at 52.4% vaccinated

•47993 at 42.8% vaccinated

•47991 at 40.5% vaccinated

For those that are already vaccinated, there are currently no recommendations for a booster shot. Individuals with weakened immune systems who are recommended by their doctor to receive an additional dose of vaccination may bring documentation to the Fountain & Warren County Health Department.

Testing: Testing for COVID-19 remains available at the Fountain & Warren County Health Department every morning except for Sunday and holidays. Testing is free of charge, and is open to all individuals regardless of reason for testing. To request testing, please contact the health department at 765-762-3035.

Isolation: Those feeling ill with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should isolate – remain away from others — unless seeking medical treatment or for testing. Isolation is recommended for a minimum of 10 days from the start of symptoms, and may be discontinued when 10 days have passed and the individual is fever free with improving symptoms.

Quarantine: Those in close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should quarantine. Close contact is being within 6 feet of someone for more than 15 minutes within one 24-hour period. Quarantined individuals should be tested for COVID-19 and should stay away from others for at least 14 days from exposure regardless of testing results. Depending on the situation, recommended quarantine may be shortened to 10 days with a negative test. Quarantined individuals should ideally be tested 2-6 days after exposure or at the onset of symptoms. Quarantined individuals developing symptoms should get tested and follow the isolation recommendations above.

Establishing a New Normal:Thanks to vaccinations, the burden from COVID-19 is expected to be less this year than last. However, vaccination rates remain low in our area, and vaccinations do not offer 100% protection. The Fountain & Warren County Health Department continues to urge diligence and caution to residents as we work together to establish a new normal. For additional information about COVID-19, or to schedule a vaccine or test for COVID-19, please visit FWHealth.org, or call us at (765) 762-3035.

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