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Putnam County gets COVID-19 warning

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Putnam County is among the 17 counties around the state currently listed at the COVID-19 warning level.

A county enters a warning level when two or more risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

As of Sunday, Sept. 27, Putnam County had 59 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic. Since March, 1,172 residents have been tested.

Zip codes with more than six cases:

• Granville, 30 cases out of 338 tests.

• Hennepin, nine cases out of 293 tests.

There have no COVID-related deaths reported in Putnam County.

Although the reasons for counties reaching a warning level varies, some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with large gatherings and events, bars and clubs, weddings and funerals, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, schools and cases among the community at large.

Public health officials are observing people not social distancing, gathering in large groups and not using face coverings. Some communities lack access to convenient testing before people become symptomatic. In some counties, local law enforcement and states’ attorneys are not enforcing important mitigation measures like social distancing and the wearing of face coverings. Additionally, some people refuse to participate in contact tracing and are not providing information on close contacts or answering the phone.

The following metrics are what trigger a warning:

• New cases per 100,000 people; If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county.

• Number of deaths; When the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.

• Weekly test positivity; The seven-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.

• ICU availability; If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region.

• Weekly hospital admissions; When the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.

• Tests perform; Provides context and indicates if more testing is needed in the county.

• Clusters; Looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

Bureau, Putnam, Marshall County Health Departments have announced that in addition to daily testing at Perry Memorial Hospital and St. Margaret’s Hospital, free COVID-19 testing will be available:

• Thursday, Oct. 1, and Friday, Oct. 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Marshall-Putnam County Fairgrounds in Henry. Appointment not necessary. Bring insurance card. Attendees will still be tested if they don’t bring their insurance card.

• Saturday, Oct. 2, and Sunday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Bureau County Health Department in Princeton. Appointment not necessary. Bring insurance card. Attendees will still be tested if they don’t bring their insurance card.

• Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Bureau County Health Department in Princeton. Appointment not necessary. Bring insurance card. Attendees will still be tested if they don’t bring their insurance card.

• Wednesday, Oct. 7, starting at 9 a.m., at the Bureau County Health Department in Princeton. Appointment not necessary. Bring insurance card. Attendees will still be tested if they don’t bring their insurance card.

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