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Crawford County receives two UV sterilization units

Crawford County receives two UV sterilization units
Crawford County receives two UV sterilization units
Eric Satterfield, county environmental health specialist, moves a sterilization unit into place at the health department. The units will prolong the useful life of masks and gowns. Photo by Stephanie Taylor Ferriell
By Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]

At the Sept. 8 meeting of the Crawford County coronavirus task force, Emergency Management Agency director Aaron Bye told the group he expected the two sterilization units for sanitizing masks and gowns to arrive within the week. The units arrived the following day and were installed Thursday at the county health department and EMS office, both located in English.

The metal cabinets contain UV lighting and are capable of disinfecting both masks and gowns simultaneously.

Bye said paper gowns and masks may be put through the units up to 20 times. The disinfection cycle takes between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on how many items are inside the unit.

Area fire departments and government offices will all be able to utilize the units. Doing so will drastically reduce the amount of personal protective equipment the county needs to replenish.

The units cost a total of $3,198. The entire amount was covered by federal CARES Act funding, dollars allocated by Congress to help communities with expenses related to COVID-19.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the county continues to increase. There were 96 cases of COVID-19 as of Sept. 13.

What has also increased is the number of people being tested, as was noted at last week’s meeting.

“The number is going up in the county, but it’s going to with more people wanting to be tested,” said Eric Satterfield, county environmental health specialist.

A total of 1,623 tests have been done on Crawford County residents.

EMS director Tim Farris noted how treatment strategies have evolved since the initial onset of the pandemic. He said one example involves steroids, which were not used in the beginning of the pandemic but have since been found to be an effective treatment option for many patients.

The number of patients requiring hospitalization and intensive care treatment has drastically decreased.

“We’re not seeing long-term intensive care like at first,” said Satterfield.

Dr. Martin Dixon noted the death rate is much lower at this stage.

“We’re losing two to five people a day in a state of 6.7 million people,” he said.

There have been no reported deaths due to the virus in Crawford County.

Indiana will remain at stage 4.5 of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s five-stage Back on Track Plan through Sept. 25.

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