Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Wayne County’s COVID cases are rising sharply, and the first local death since May that is associated with the virus has been recorded.

Wayne County had 30 new cases of COVID-19 that were announced Wednesday, Aug. 11, as well as the death of a woman in her 80s that is tied to COVID-19.

Wayne County Health Department said no further information will be released regarding the death or the individual.


Map turns yellow, orange for most local counties

The state’s color-coded map had been a sea of blue in recent weeks. However, the only county in Indiana that was blue on the map released Wednesday is Randolph County, with a weekly metric score of 0.5.

Wayne, Fayette and Union counties have moved to yellow.

Wayne and Fayette have a score of 1.

Union is creeping close to an orange ranking with a 1.5.

Franklin County has gone orange, with a 2. Eight Indiana counties are in the red, or worst, level.

As COVID cases continue to climb in the nation with the more contagious Delta variant, the state and in the county, local health officials say they encourage everyone to practice mitigation strategies to help reduce the spread of illness.

Those include vaccinations, wearing mask, staying home when sick, quarantining when you have been identified as a close contact of a positive person, social distasting of at least 6 feet and wearing a mask regardless of your vaccination status indoors.


Expanded education

The health department continues to offer free COVID immunizations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at 100 S. Fifth St., Richmond.

In addition, the WCHD office will be open special evening hours of 5-8 p.m. Aug. 11, 18 and 25 and Sept. 1 to provide COVID vaccines.

Appointments can be made by visiting, but walk-ins are welcome, with the last walk-in opportunity at 3:30 p.m.

WCHD Executive Director Christine Stinson said the special hours are being offered in hopes of increasing the county’s immunization rate.

Reid Health is offering free vaccinations at its two Urgent Care locations in Richmond (1501 Chester Blvd.) and Connersville (1475 E. Indiana 44) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

The Reid Ready Care Clinic at Meijer in Richmond is open for shots 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. No co-pay is charged.


Free testing

Free testing is still available at eight sites in Wayne County.  WCHD, Reid Health’s site (across from the former hospital in the 1400 block of Chester Boulevard), and four CVS/pharmacy locations (one in Cambridge City and three in Richmond) offer drive-up testing.

Tests also are available at First Care Clinics and Meridian Health Services.

Henry County has several test sites. In New Castle, tests can be obtained at Henry Community Health (1007 N. 16th St.), CVS, First Care Clinics, Meridian Health Services and Walgreens, as well as the Knightstown Health Care Center and the CVS in Middletown.

In Fayette County, tests are available from Fayette County Health Department, Meridian Health Services and CVS, all in Connersville.

A full list of Indiana test sites at


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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.