Task force to reduce frequency of meetings
By Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]
Crawford County has had a low number of positive COVID-19 cases compared to many surrounding counties. The coronavirus task force received even more good news June 23 when county health nurse Donna Parker reported that the county held steady at 27 cases for more than a week.
There were 28 confirmed cases as of June 29.
“Our county is headed in the right direction,” said Morton Dale, chairman of the task force. “We’ve done well compared to others.”
Dale noted the county employee who contracted COVID-19 has recovered and returned to work after subsequently testing negative.
EMS director Tim Farris said one of his crews came in contact with a patient who was positive. However, that person is not a county resident.
Farris said ambulance crews are continuing to follow all safety guidelines and said those who were in contact with the positive case are self-monitoring.
With Gov. Eric Holcomb expected to move Indiana to phase five of the Back on Track Plan by July 5, Crawford County will need to decide whether to lift all restrictions or keep some safety measures in place.
Eric Satterfield, environmental health specialist, said that most guidelines are expected to change to recommendations instead of requirements by July 5.
Satterfield said he was set to meet June 25 with Crawford County Community School Corp. personnel to work on a plan for a safe return to school for students and staff in early August.
County Emergency Management Agency director Aaron Bye said county attorney Marcus Burgher IV is working on setting up paperwork to enable the county to receive CARES funds for COVID-19 expenses.
Bye noted the state emergency response is scaling back to a pre-pandemic level of activity.
The future of the county’s coronavirus task force was discussed. The group has met weekly since mid-March. Dale said most likely the frequency of meetings will be reduced, perhaps to monthly. However, from the beginning, task force members said they saw value in a standing committee that would continue to meet regularly in an effort to be prepared for future emergency situations.
“We don’t want to jump the gun,” said Dale. “We want to continue to plan for the future.
“Hopefully, we’ll never have to deal with this again, but we want to have the right protocol in place for our county for whatever may occur in the future,” he said. “I think we’ve all learned from this experience. We want to be prepared.”