Allen County Health Officials Announce New Public Health Order, mitigation guidelines effective November 22

Update: November 17, 2020:

Source: Allen County Department of Health (https://www.allencountyhealth.com/)

PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER, issued by Matthew Sutter, M.D., Allen County Health Officer

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the recent surge of new cases and related hospitalizations in Allen County, and pursuant to the authority granted in Governor Eric Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-48 issued November 13, 2020 (hereinafter referred to as Executive Order 20-48 or the Executive Order), and the authority granted by l.c. 16-41-9-1.6, I, the Allen County, Indiana, Health Officer ORDER the following local restrictions for Allen County, Indiana, which are in addition to those set forth Executive Order 20-48. The definitions and provisions of Executive Order 20-48 are incorporated here in their entirety by reference.

This Order shall become effective at 12:00AM. on November 22, 2020 and shall expire at 11:59PM on December 12, 2020.

l . Social Gatherings

Pursuant to Section 7.c. of Executive Order 20-48, Social Gatherings (as defined by the Executive Order) are limited in number pursuant to the applicable color designation for the County as indicated in the Executive Order. The Executive Order provides that if the host of the Social Gathering cannot cancel, postpone, or reduce the number of individuals expected to be present at the Social Gathering to comply with the applicable limit, then the host shall seek and obtain approval of a safety plan for the Social Gathering from the local Health Department.

It is hereby ORDERED that no such plan shall be approved by the Allen County Health Department unless the number of people to be present at the Social Gathering shall be less than the following according to the applicable color-coded metric designation and unless the safety plan is submitted with the Allen County Health Department COVID-19 Gathering & Events Plan Review Submission cover sheet indicating that the host will comply with the safety provisions contained in Section 7.f. of the Executive Order.

Orange:           250

Red:                 100

2. Events

Pursuant to Section 7.e. of Executive Order 20-48, Events (as defined by the Executive Order) are limited in number pursuant to the applicable color designation for the County as indicated in the Executive Order. The Executive Order provides that if the host of the Event cannot cancel or reduce the number of individuals expected to be present at the Event to comply with the applicable limit, then the Host shall seek and obtain approval of a safety plan for the Event from the local Health Department.

It is hereby ORDERED that no such plan shall be approved by the Allen County Health Department unless the number of people to be present at the Event shall be less than the following according to the applicable color-coded metric designation and unless the safety plan is submitted with the Allen County Health Department COVID- 19 Gathering & Events Plan Review Submission cover sheet indicating that the host will comply with the safety provisions contained in Section 7.f. of the Executive Order:

Orange:            250

Red:                 100

3. Social Gatherings and Events Held at Multiple Site Venues

Notwithstanding Sections 1 and 2 of this Public Health Order, for venues with multiple, clearly separate areas, such as separate banquet rooms, conference rooms, or multiple sports fields, it is ORDERED that a submitted safety plan submitted to the Allen County Health Department in accordance with Sections 7.c. and 7.e. of the Executive Order may be approved for each separate area up to a maximum of 250 individuals per gathering or event during any time that Allen County is designated as Orange under Executive Order 20-48 or up to a maximum of 100 individuals per gathering or event during any time that Allen County is designated as Red under Executive Order 20-48. The safety plan for each separate and discrete area of a multiple site venue must be submitted with the Allen County Health Department COVID-19 Gathering & Events Plan Review Submission cover sheet indicating that the host will comply with the safety provisions contained in Section 7.f. of the Executive Order.

In addition, the venue shall:

  1. Ensure separate social gathering and event attendees do not comingle;
  2. Within each area/site, ensure 6 feet of social distancing within tables with seating spaced to achieve and maintain social distancing between individuals or households, and for classroom, auditorium, bleacher, or other style seating, ensure 6 feet of separation between individuals or household units;
  3. Ensure separate and designated restroom facilities for each area/site and designated facilities must be sufficient for the number of attendees in each site or area;
  4. Provide hand sanitizer or other prevention supplies in each area/site; and
  5. Message that attendance is prohibited if sick or recently exposed to COVID-19.

4. Community Recreational Sports Leagues and Tournaments

In addition to the requirements set forth in Sections 9.c. and 9.d. of Executive Order 20-48, it is hereby ORDERED that community recreational sports leagues and tournaments shall also be restricted in the number of individuals present (including participants, personnel, and spectators) based on the color-coded metric designation for the County as follows.

Orange:           250

Red:                 100

5. Restaurants, Bars, Taverns, Nightclubs and Other Establishments Providing In-Person Food and Drink Service

During any period of time in which Allen County is designated as Red under Executive Order 20-48, the following additional restrictions applicable to restaurants, bars, taverns, nightclubs, and other establishments providing in-person food and drink service are hereby ORDERED:

  1. Capacity is limited to 50% of indoor capacity and 100% of outdoor capacity. Outdoor tent seating is permitted only if the tent has at least two (2) open-air sides for maximum ventilation.
  2. These establishments must be closed and cleared of customers between the hours of 12:00 AM and 5:00 AM.
  3. Bar seating shall be closed; table seating only. Table seating within a bar areas is permitted in accordance with this Order and with Executive Order 20-48.
  4. Table seating is limited to 10 people per table and tables must be spaced such that individuals will be at least six (6) feet away from individuals seated at other tables.
  5. Self-service style food stations (buffets, salad bars, etc.) are not permitted unless a staff member serves patrons.

6. Gyms, Exercise & Fitness Centers

During any period of time in which Allen County is designated as Red under Executive Order 20-48, the following additional restrictions applicable to gyms and exercise and fitness centers are hereby ORDERED.

  1. This Order is applicable to all exercise and fitness/workout facilities or gyms, including yoga studios, dance studios, karate studios, martial arts studios, and other similar fitness centers whether located in a standalone facility, a community center, or other place of business.
  2. In addition to any requirements of Executive Order 20-48, it is hereby ORDERED that gyms and exercise and fitness centers shall also be restricted to 50% capacity.

7. Color Code Status

Pursuant to Section 9.e. of Executive Order 20-48, a county will be moved to a more restrictive category whenever the county’s metric/score rises to the higher category; however, a county must meet the metrics/score of a less restrictive category for two (2) consecutive weeks before being permitted to move to that category.

Unless otherwise specified in this Public Health Order, dated November 17, 2020, the restrictions imposed by Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-48 apply, unless superseded by a later Executive Order issued by Governor Holcomb.

To see the signed, official health order from Allen County Health Officer Matthew Sutter, M.D., click here.

Governor Holcomb announces new COVID Mitigation Measures to take place from Nov. 15 to at least Dec. 12

Update: November 13, 2020:

Governor Eric J. Holcomb today signed Executive Order 20-48 to implement pandemic requirements for all Hoosiers and targeted restrictions for counties that have high levels of COVID-19.

Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.

The Indiana Department of Health has established a color-coded county map (Click here to see map) that measures weekly cases per 100,000 residents and the seven-day positivity rate for all tests completed. Each county is assigned a color based on the average of scores for the two metrics. Restrictions are assigned based on the map, which is updated each Wednesday at www.coronavirus.in.gov.

Click here for an in-depth description of the requirements for all Hoosiers and targeted restrictions for counties: https://www.in.gov/gov/files/Coronavirus_Response_Requirements.pdf

Among the requirements are:

Blue: The county has low community spread.

  • Social gatherings of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 250 people.
  • A special, seasonal or commercial event for which more than 250 people will be in attendance, must submit a plan to the local health department at least seven days in advance and receive approval before proceeding. This requirement is effective Nov. 22.

Yellow: The county has moderate community spread.

  • Social gatherings of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 100 people.
  • A special, seasonal or commercial event for which more than 100 people will be in attendance, must submit a plan to the local health department at least seven days in advance and receive approval before proceeding. This requirement is effective Nov. 22.

Orange: The county’s community spread is approaching high levels.

These requirements are in effect when a county reaches the Orange metric and remain until a county moves to Yellow or Blue for two straight weeks.

  • Social gatherings of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 50 people.
  • A special, seasonal or commercial event for which more than 50 people will be in attendance, must submit a plan to the local health department at least seven days in advance and receive approval before proceeding. College and professional sports are included. This requirement is effective Nov. 22.

Red: The county has very high positivity and community spread.

When a county is in the Red metric, these requirements remain in effect until the metric has returned to Orange or lower for two weeks.

  • Social gatherings of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 25 people.
  • A special, seasonal or commercial event for which more than 25 people will be in attendance, must submit a plan to the local health department at least seven days in advance and receive approval before proceeding. College and professional sports are included. This requirement is effective Nov. 22.

Regardless of a county’s color code, face coverings are required for all Hoosiers. Businesses of all types are required to place clearly visible signs at their public and employee entrances notifying all that face coverings are required.

All customers in restaurants and bars are required to be seated. Tables, counters, or other seating arrangements must be spaced six feet apart.

The executive order takes effect on Sunday, Nov. 15 and runs until at least Saturday, Dec. 12.

Click here to see the executive order: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

Click here to read the Governor’s remarks announcing the changes: https://www.in.gov/gov/governor-holcomb/newsroom/covid-19-county-metrics-and-requirments/

Previous Actions:

Click this link to see previous orders and actions taken by Governor Holcomb.

A Quick Contact Guide for Coronavirus Information

Please Note: if you are concerned about a friend or family member’s well-being and/or mental status based on conversations you’ve had with them, encounters you have experienced, or what they posted on their social media accounts, FIRST, dial 911 in an emergency and then contact the social media outlets directly.

Local and Regional Coronavirus resources

Allen County Department of Health

Hotline: (260) 449-4499, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Website: https://www.allencountyhealth.com/get-informed/covid-19/

Indiana Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline

Hotline: 1-877-826-0011 (open 8 a.m. ET-Midnight ET seven days a week)

Website: https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/

Mental Health Resources

Park Center – Fort Wayne, IN

Crisis Hotline: 800-552-0985

Website: http://www.parkcenter.org/

Northeastern Center, Inc. – Kendallville IN

Crisis: 800-790-0118

Website: http://www.necmh.org/

Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services, Inc. – Warsaw, IN

Phone: 574-267-7169

Website: http://www.bowencenter.org/

Resources from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)- A List curated by NAMI of Fort Wayne:

https://www.namifortwayne.org/local-resources

State and National Resources

Indiana

Indiana Department of Health:

Hotline: 1-877-826-0011 (open 8AM-8PM ET)

Website: https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/

Ohio

Ohio Department of Health

Hotline: 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)

Website: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/

National

CDC (Centers for Disease Control)

Hotline: 1-800-232-4636

Website: https://www.coronavirus.gov/

Mental Health Resources

From the National Institute of Mental Health:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En Español 1-888-628-9454
The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.

Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741
The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.

Veterans Crisis Line
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a trained responder. The service is available to all veterans, even if not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA healthcare. Veterans who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can call 1-800-799-4889.

Disaster Distress Helpline
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746

The disaster distress helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Hotline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

Learn about our Local Weekly Shows…

CORONAVIRUS: A Live Community Forum

Click or tap on this link or the image at left to choose from all the episodes in this series, by date originally broadcast.

The conversation and call-ins continued Friday evenings at 7:00pm with local experts such as Dr. Deborah McMahan, Commisioner, Allen County Department of Health, Dr, Jay Fawver, psychiatrist and host of Matters of the Mind, plus other area medical and community leaders. This one-hour special program  aired during March, April and the first week of May 2020.

The programs also featured a phone bank comprised of health care professionals assisting viewers with questions when they call in during each week’s live broadcast.

CORONAVIRUS: A Mental Health Roundtable

Dr. Jay Fawver hosted CORONAVIRUS: A Mental Health Roundtable, special editions of Matters of the Mind Mondays at at 7:30pm on PBS Fort Wayne during March and April 2020.

Dr. Fawver, along with other regional mental health experts — including Dr. Siquilla Liebetrau, a licensed clinical psychologist at the Bowen Center in Warsaw and Dr. Matthew L. Runyan a psychiatrist in Fort Wayne, affiliated with Parkview Regional Medical Center — continued the discussion about how the COVID-19 Pandemic can affect mental health.  New suggestions, coping strategies and resources viewers may access while social distancing or staying at home are part of the discussion in each show.

More Resources…

Be Well Indiana: A Comprehensive Online Wellness Resource

Click on this image to learn more.
Local Resources: Links to local resources with Coronavirus information
Click on this image to learn more.
From PBS Parents: How To Talk To Your Kids About the Coronavirus
Click on this image to learn more.
From PBS: A Curated Directory of What You Should Know
Click on this image to learn more.

Scientists around the globe are racing to uncover the secrets of the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic—and using revolutionary techniques to develop lifesaving treatments and vaccines.

Click on this link or the image above to stream the special.

CONFRONTING CORONAVIRUS: A PBS NewsHour Special

This special, from PBS NewsHour, focuses on health precautions for individuals and the public at large, as well as the pandemic’s economic impact in both the United States and globally.

Click the link or the image above  to stream this special.

From PBS: A COVID-19 Financial Survival Guide

Who are the most economically vulnerable to the pandemic, how can you get financial support, and how can you help out?
Click on this image to learn more.

VIDEO: What Flattening The Curve Means

VIDEO: NOVA-How serious is the Coronavirus?

VIDEO: PBS Digital Studios: Can Soap Really Kill the Coronavirus?

PBS Digital Studios: How do Hand Santizers Work?

FAQs: What Did the Governor’s Stay At Home Order Mean?

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School closed? The PBS Kids Daily Newsletter connects you to new resources and more.
Click on this image to learn more.

Tips on How To Shelter in Place: NASA Astronauts

Click on this image to learn more.

Resources and more for you…

As concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic continues, PBS Fort Wayne presents a collection of programs and resources we produced earlier with timely and relevant information on the spread of the virus.

CORONAVIRUS: A LIVE COMMUNITY FORUM, Friday, a new series that was seen Fridays at 7:00pm on PBS Fort Wayne, was produced live in our studio and features conversations with Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deb McMahan, Dr. Jay Fawver, plus other local medical and community leaders. Local viewers also have the opportunity to call in questions to a phone bank of health care professionals. during each live broadcast.

CORONAVIRUS: A Mental Health Roundtable, which aired Monday evenings at  7:30pm, was hosted by Dr. Jay Fawver (host of Matters of the Mind) discussing how the COVID-19 Pandemic can affect mental health. The show features other regional mental health experts offering suggestions, coping strategies and tips for viewers on where to find resources to help them through this crisis.

CONFRONTING CORONAVIRUS: A PBS NEWSHOUR SPECIAL aired earlier this year and featured interviews with officials and a virtual town hall with curated questions from across the nation.