Author Archives: Sharon

FACE COVERING DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines for using cloth face coverings and how-tos if you’d like to make your own.

The CDC also emphasizes that people use cloth face covering instead of medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE), because surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply at this time and should be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders.

Click here for a guide from the CDC on face coverings.

INTERURBAN TROLLEY GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

The following is a message from the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG):

The Interurban Trolley fixed route service and the Interurban Trolley ADA Access service will operate as usual in Elkhart and Goshen on Good Friday, April 10, 2020.

Please be advised, the ADA Access Dispatch office will be closed in observance of the Good Friday holiday. ADA Access riders need to schedule trips for Friday April 10, Saturday, April 11, and Monday, April 13; by Thursday, April 9, at 2:00 PM (EDT).

Interurban Trolley Information offices will be closed all day on Friday, April 10, 2020.

Transit information can be obtained by calling the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) at (574) 674-8894 or at www.interurbantrolley.com

CITY WORKING ON MOSQUITO CONTROL

With warmer weather the last few days we saw some mosquitoes already. In an effort to reduce the populations the City is dropping larvicide tablets in areas prone to the propagation of mosquitoes.

Community mosquito control programs can help to reduce the number of mosquitoes and prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

At this time, CDC has no data to suggest that the new coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes or ticks. The main way that COVID-19 spreads is from person to person.

However, other diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Zika are transmitted by mosquitoes. If going outdoors during the hours of dusk to dawn, consider using en EPA-registered mosquito repellent.

FOOD ASSISTANCE

If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, the following links provide information of where the nearest pantry may be located and what local food pantries are doing during the pandemic.

The food assistance availability map is updated by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, and provides information about the location of food pantries, meal sites and school sites, which often provide meals for children: https://www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/5768.htm

The Elkhart County Food Council is compiling lists of food pantries, restaurants with carry-out and delivery options, and resources for food growers on their site. The lists of food access are being updated during the pandemic: https://www.elkhartfood.org/blog/tag/covid19

STAY-AT-HOME ORDER AND WORKPLACES

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s extension of his order for Hoosiers to stay home included new information about enforcement in essential workplaces that remain open.

According to Executive Order 20-18, all employers must comply with safety and health standards established and enforced by the Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration (IOSHA). Employers are subject to specific standards to prevent the exposure or spread of a disease.

The governor has directed IOSHA to take enforcement actions against businesses or entities failing to comply with workplace safety conditions. He also directed the creation of an enforcement response team to respond and investigate all other reports of violations of his executive order.

Anyone who believes they are in an unsafe work environment specifically related to taking preventative measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 can fill out a complaint form at in.gov/dol. The form allows for anonymous submittals.

BRUSH TRAILER PROGRAM

The brush trailer program this year will begin Monday, April 13 and will run through October 23.

The trailer can be reserved for the removal of large amounts of brush.  If a homeowner is trimming his own bushes or trees, they can schedule a trailer to be dropped off to put their brush in. This program is for the homeowner only and not to be used by private landscaping or tree-trimming professionals. This program is free of charge as long as there is only brush placed in the trailer.  Trash such as landscape timbers, lumber, old fencing and such is not allowed and if found in the brush trailer, the homeowner will be charged for a Dial-A-Trailer.

The trailer is usually dropped off in the afternoon between 2 and 3 p.m. and picked up the next day shortly after 7 a.m. if one has scheduled to receive it on a weekday; if you have it scheduled for a weekend, it will be dropped off Friday afternoon and picked up early Monday morning.

ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER OPEN

The Environmental Center, located at 20100 CR 19, is open and accepting brush and leaves. Their hours are Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

The center accepts brush and leaves, loose or in bags, at no charge to Goshen residents. However, if leaves are bagged, the bags must be emptied. There is a small fee for disposal of yard waste and grass clippings.

TESTING SITES AND THE CARES ACT

The following is a message by the Elkhart County Health Department. Haga click aqui para ver el comunicado de prensa en español.

Incident Command has been asked to share where testing sites are and if the person being tested would be charged for the test being processed.

It is still required that all testing sites follow the CDC’s algorithm for testing. This means everyone has to go through prescreening to receive a doctor’s order to receive a test. This has NOT changed. According to House Bill 6074, testing is free to everyone. If you have insurance, your insurance will be billed, but you will not receive a bill for any balance. If you are uninsured, you will not be charged. However, you still have to have a doctor’s order to receive the test.

The locations for testing are as follows (if you are a testing site and not listed, please contact EMA at 574/891-2283):

  • Goshen Urgent Care on US 33
  • Goshen Health Emergency Room (ER) tent outside the door
  • Beacon’s Elkhart General Hospital tent off of Arcade Ave.
  • St. Joseph Physician Network People’s Clinic will begin testing on 4/13 for patients who are part of Select Health Network off of County Road 17
  • South Bend Clinic at Healthy Beginnings 1400 Hudson St. (preregistration at 574/307-6870).
  • Heart City Health, testing at all three locations you may obtain doctor’s order onsite

As we have said many times and will continue to say, the best way to protect yourself from any respiratory illness, including COVID-19 is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% or higher alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice social distancing (no group functions such as book clubs, meetings, and or congregations of 10 or more)
  • Stay home unless you need to go somewhere.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We will continue to provide updates as changes occur. Please follow our Facebook page at Elkhart County Health Department Health Education Division www.facebook.com/healtheducation.echd, www.elkhartcountyhealth.org, or go to the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.isdh.in.gov/coronavirus for up-to-date information on COVID-19.

CITY OFFICES CLOSED FRIDAY, APRIL 10

City offices will be closed Friday, April 10 after 1 p.m. If you need to speak with a City staff person, please call Friday before 1 p.m. or Monday, April 13.

As a reminder, City buildings remain closed to the public and some staff may not be working due to measures taken by the City to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

FIRST FRIDAYS TO HOST ONLINE EXPERIENCE

First Fridays will host its first-ever online experience! Join the community online this Friday, watch a live concert and consider supporting your local businesses and nonprofits.

We ask you stay home and join the virtual celebration; please continue to practice good health measures and distancing to help us slow the spread of COVID-19.

Go to https://business.facebook.com/events/3278359162180887/ for details and to join.

COVID-19 INFORMATIONAL HOTLINE AND GARAGE SALES

The following is a message from the Elkhart County Health Department.

The LIVE Elkhart County COVID-19 Information Line is fully up and running. This is an INFORMATION ONLY line. We will not be providing the paperwork needed for testing. The phone number is 574-523-2106. Due to the limited number of calls, we are changing the hours and days. We will now handle calls Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

During this time of self-quarantining, we know that you are cleaning out your homes. Please do not hold a garage/estate sales at this time. There are several reasons, but first and foremost, this does not allow for social distancing, which can increase the spread of COVID-19.

We will continue to say, the best way to protect yourself from any respiratory illness, including COVID-19, is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% or higher alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice social distancing of six feet or greater (no group functions such as book clubs, meetings, and or congregations of 10 or more)
  • Stay home unless you need to go somewhere.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and then wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


We will continue to provide updates as changes occur. Please follow our Facebook page at Elkhart County Health Department Health Education Division www.facebook.com/healtheducation.echd, www.elkhartcountyhealth.org, or go to the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.isdh.in.gov/coronavirus for up-to-date information on COVID-19.