By Millicent Martin Emery

Wayne County has lost another resident to COVID-19 and the number of local lab-confirmed positive cases has passed 200.

Wayne County Health Department on Monday afternoon confirmed the death of an adult male in his 80s who was hospitalized at Reid Health as being related to COVID-19.

As of Monday, the health department has learned of a total of 207 laboratory-confirmed positive cases and 201 clinically diagnosed cases among Wayne County residents.

“We are saddened by the news,” said Wayne County Health Officer Dr. David Jetmore in a news release. “In Wayne County we had not experienced a death since early May. But as our daily case counts bloomed in the past two weeks, we knew additional deaths would soon follow.”

Christine Stinson, the health department’s executive director, is alarmed by increases in the county’s daily case counts and positivity rate.
“Now is the time we can make a difference before we are too far down this road we are traveling,” Stinson said. “… If we could gain better compliance with the public properly wearing mask or cloth facial coverings, we could impact both those numbers.”

Stinson said the lower a community’s transmission rates are for COVID-19, the safer it is for the nursing homes’ residents and staff, the less stress there is on the healthcare systems and there’s more confidence in returning children to schools.

“There are very few tools in the public health toolbox right now to combat the transmission of COVID-19,” Jetmore said. “The only tools we have are the physical social distancing of 6 feet, good hand hygiene and wearing a mask in public spaces. Of those three, wearing a mask is the most effective policy that can be put into place and the easiest thing any one person could do to help our community.”

Those who have been in close contact with someone they know is COVID-19 positive, it is important to self-isolate for 14 days from the last exposure. Testing negative on a COVID-19 test does not remove the isolation guidelines.

Anyone experiencing any COVID-19 symptom is urged to stay home. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

Those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and feel you need to be seen by a doctor are urged to contact their primary care physician before showing up to their office.

Reid Health’s Respiratory Clinic is still open and seeing patients who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is offering testing to its patients.

The OptumServe testing sites continues with a partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health. The testing site is located at 601 E. Main St. in Richmond’s former Elder-Beerman store.

Because of high demand, walk-in visits are no longer available.

To register for an appointment for a free test, visit or call 1-888-634-1116. Testing is available to all Indiana residents or anyone working in Indiana from a neighboring state.

OptumServe will test someone as young as 1 year old.

Tests available for a fee can be obtained via appointment at the FirstCare clinic on Richmond’s far-east side across from Walmart, and at CVS North on Chester Boulevard.

For more information regarding COVID-19, visit Indiana State Department of Health website at or call toll-free at 877-826-0011.

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