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WEEKLY LAB COVID-19 POSITIVES DROP IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--The Wayne County Health Department released some good news about Covid-19 Wednesday.  The Department showed that Wayne County’s weekly lab positive count for people tested at Reid Health has dropped.  It’s the first time since the week of the Fourth of July that the number has dropped.  That number last week was 63 after having peaked at 71 the week before.

59 COVID-19 CASES REPORTED AT NURSING HOME

(Greenville, OH)--There’s been a huge outbreak of Covid-19 at a Darke County nursing home.  Data from the state coronavirus website shows the outbreak occurred at the Rest Haven nursing home in Greenville.  55 residents and four staff members at the facility on North Ohio Street have contracted the virus.  The outbreak accounts for almost 7% of all resident cases reported in the entire state this week.

JETMORE OFFERS CLARIFICATION ON FALSE NEGATIVE COVID-19 TESTS

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Health Officer Dr. David Jetmore offered clarification Wednesday on Covid-19 testing after some confusion connected to the start of Centerville schools.  Jetmore said that positive results from either PCR or Rapid testing is nearly 100% accurate.  But, the PCR test can give a false negative up to 40% of the time if it’s done too early in the infection.  Jetmore added that the department will "always take the more cautious route" in dealing with someone who may have the virus.

RCS STUDENTS RESUME IN-PERSON SCHOOLING

(Richmond, IN)--It’s back-to-school day on Wednesday for students at Richmond Community Schools.  Elementary student will be going every day, while older students will be returning on a hybrid plan that has them in buildings on half the days.  On Wednesday, older students with last names that begin with the letters “A” through “L” will return.  The second half of the alphabet returns Thursday.   RCS issued five reminders Tuesday, including that students be pre-screened at home and that each students have two masks.  Those masks will have to be worn on the bus, in the hallways, and in the classroom when social distancing cannot be maintained.  There’s school news across the Whitewater Valley.  Richmond is not the only school system that’s resuming classes.  Students in Fayette and Franklin County are also going back beginning Wednesday.  In Fayette County, nearly 90% of parents have opted to send their kids back for in-person schooling, meaning only about one in ten have opted for virtual learning only.  In Eaton, administrators announced Tuesday that the start of school has now been pushed back.  The start date in Eaton was to have been next week, but it’s now August 31.

CENTERVILLE RESIDENTS RECEIVE PIT BULL SURVEYS

(Centerville, IN)--Centerville residents who are getting their utility bills this week are also getting a survey.  That survey questions whether or not residents want to see a ban lifted that currently prevents pit bull ownership.  Town council will consider an ordinance to lift the ban next month, and results of the survey will be taken into consideration.  In some other Centerville news, juveniles who vandalized the newly placed caboose have been arrested.  That caboose had sat at McDonalds in Richmond decades ago, was renovated, and then was vandalized.

FOUNTAIN CITY GETS $700,000 WATER GRANT

(Fountain City, IN)--Fountain City is getting help with replacing its water infrastructure.  Fountain City is getting $700,000 to replace all of the water mains and other lines that are all about 60 years old.  Cast iron lines will be replaced with PVC that should result in better water pressure for residential customers.  Bids for the project will go out in October.  The grant comes from the Indiana Office of Rural and Community Affairs.

WAYNE CO. HAS ONE OF STATE'S LOWEST COVID-19 POSITIVITY RATES

(Wayne County, IN)--Indiana’s website focusing on Covid-19 statistics indicated Tuesday morning that Wayne County has one of the lowest positivity rates in the state.  The official Wayne County rate for positives is 3.3%.  Only five of Indiana’s other 91 counties have a rate lower than Wayne County.  Some other area counties have a dramatically higher rate.  Union County now has the fifth highest positivity rate in Indiana at 14.1%.

AT LEAST ONE PERSON CRITICALLY HURT IN SCOOTER CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--At least one person was critically injured in a crash Monday afternoon on U.S. 27 in front of Richmond Power & Light.  First responders were sent there on the report that two scooters had been hit by a truck.  Southbound 27 was shut down and a medical helicopter was summoned.  There’s no word this morning on the identity or condition of victims.

SINGLE-WEEK HIGHS IN COVID CASES REPORTED IN FOUR AREA COUNTIES

(Whitewater Valley)--Four Whitewater Valley counties all saw their biggest single-week total of Covid-19 positive tests last week.  That includes Darke County, which saw 79 new cases just last week.  Union County added 11, Franklin County added 37, and Randolph County added 20.  All of those are single-week highs.  Wayne County added 62 new cases last week and has added 178 in just the last three weeks.  Wayne County’s positivity rate since the start of the outbreak is just over four percent.

COVID-19 OUTBREAK REPORTED AT EATON NURSING HOME

(Eaton, OH)--There’s been an outbreak of Covid-19 at Greenbriar Nursing Center in Eaton.  That’s according to Preble County Public Health, which released a statement over the weekend.  Two employees have tested positive, but there are also 15 positive but asymptomatic patients.  All residents were tested after the employees tested positive.  Further investigation of the outbreak will continue through contact tracing.

DANCE RECITAL LEADS TO NORTHEASTERN STUDENTS' QUARANTINE, HEALTH DEPT. ALERT

(Williamsburg, IN)--A staff member at Northeastern High School has tested positive for Covid-19.  The Wayne County Health Department issued a statement Thursday saying that at least ten Northeastern students have been placed in a two-week quarantine period.  It stems back to a dance recital that was held in the Williamsburg Gym last Friday night.  The Health Department says that anyone who was at that recital may have been exposed to the person who has tested positive.  They’re asking all who attended to be particularly aware on oncoming symptoms because they’re having difficulty identifying close contacts at the recital.

WAYNE COUNTY'S WEEKLY JOBLESS NUMBERS LOWEST SINCE OUTBREAK

(Wayne County, IN)--Here’s some positive local news regarding Covid-19.  The number of jobless claims filed in Wayne County last week was the lowest it’s been since the outbreak became apparent on local jobs 19 weeks ago.  152 new claims were filed last week.  That’s eight times higher than at this time last year, but well below the weekly average since the outbreak of 382.  Wayne County has now had 7264 jobless claims since the middle of March.

TIDROW OUT AT RCS; BOARD SEEKS SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS

(Richmond, IN)--There’s a shortage of manpower for school resource officers at Richmond Community Schools.  That shortage prompted the RCS Board this week to contract with off-duty sheriff’s deputies.  The deputies will wear the same uniforms and perform the same functions as previous officers.  Also, RCS Chief Operating Officer Rob Tidrow is out.  Tidrow’s position has been eliminated in restructuring.  Three years ago, Tidrow was named Indiana’s Technology Coordinator of the Year.

RCS TO START ON TIME FOR IN-PERSON STUDENTS

(Richmond, IN)--It’s full speed ahead for students at Richmond Community Schools after the RCS Board Wednesday night.  Some area and regional schools, like Seton, have opted to push back the start of in-person schooling after a recent uptick in Covid-19 cases.  Others, like Centerville, have started as scheduled.  No in-person schooling delays were implemented by the RCS Board Wednesday night, although it continues to monitor the situation.  Richmond students will begin this coming Wednesday with a hybrid plan that has only half the students in class at any given time.  Those who opt out can attend classes virtually full-time.

FOUNTAIN CITY LIONS CLUB FESTIVAL (FORMERLY LEVI COFFIN) CANCELLED

(Fountain City, IN)--Another Whitewater Valley festival has been cancelled due to Covid-19.  On Wednesday, the Lions Club in Fountain City announced that the Fountain City Lions Fall Festival – which was formerly known as Levi Coffin Days and actually was to have taken place in the summer – has been cancelled.  Most other similar festivals in our area have also been cancelled, including Canal Days, Archway Days, and the Preble County Pork Festival.

SHOTS FIRED INTO RICHMOND HOMES

(Richmond, IN)--No one was hurt in two separate shots fired incidents Wednesday morning.  At around 2:30, shots were fired into a house in the 600 block of South West A Street.  Witnesses hear tires squealing after the shots were fired.  Then, at around 6 Wednesday morning, shots were fired into a house and car in the 200 block of South 20th.  Police are investigating to see if the two incidents are connected.

CHANGES MADE TO DARKE COUNTY POULTRY DAYS

The latest cancellation due to COVID-19 is the social portion of Darke County Poultry Days.  It had been scheduled for August 14th through the 16th.  Organizers say Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s mask mandate cannot reasonably be adhered to at the festival, and they say that could lead to more restrictions or the festival possibly being shut down.  Poultry sales for the festival will continue with a drive-thru set up all three days.  Also, on Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced that masks would be mandatory for all K-through-12 students in Ohio schools when their school years start. 

RCS MEETING AFTER SETON DELAYS IN-CLASS LEARNING

The Richmond Community School Board is set to meet tonight.  The meeting comes following the announcement that Seton Catholic will delay the resumption of in-person schooling due to Covid-19.  Seton was set to start their school year a week from today.  But in-person classes have now been pushed back to September 14th.  Until then, Seton students will have only virtual instruction.  About 80% of Seton Catholic students had intended to physically be in school next week. 

3000 RP&L CUSTOMERS FACE DISCONNECTION

Richmond Power and Light has set a cutoff date if you are behind on your electric bill.   Indiana’s moratorium on utility cut-offs expires August 14th as of now.  Unless that moratorium is extended, RP&L says it will start turning off power on August 17th.  RP&L General Manager Randy Baker told the utility’s Board there are currently 3000 customers in jeopardy of losing service.  Baker says the utility’s revenue is short by near one-and-a-quarter million dollars since the outbreak began.  RP&L is offering a payment plan for those who are unable to catch up by the shutoff date. 

WAYNE COUNTY NOW HAS 10 COVID-19 DEATHS

Wayne County now has ten deaths caused by Covid-19, including four over the past two weeks alone.  The Wayne County Health Department says a man in his 80’s died at Reid Health on Monday.  He had been a patient at a long-term care facility before being taken to Reid, but the Health Department did not name the facility.  On Tuesday, Wayne County had its highest number of positive Covid-19 tests reported in one day since the pandemic began. It brings the total number of Wayne County cases to 334.  Half of those have come in just the last three weeks. 

STATE: LESS THAN 2% OF AREA VENTILATORS IN USE BY COVID PATIENTS

(Wayne County, IN)--The Wayne County Health Department on Monday issued a statement saying that local residents in the 20’s are dominating the county’s cases of Covid-19.  People in their 20’s make up 18% of the local cases.  That’s followed closely by people in their 60’s, which make up 17.7%.  Here are a couple of other numbers you don’t normally hear…according to the state for Area 6 in our part of Indiana, less than ten percent of ICU beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients are currently in use and less than two percent of available ventilators are being used by patients with the virus.

RICHMOND FIREWORKS CANCELLED FOR 2020

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s fireworks display is the latest event to be cancelled because of Covid-19.  The fireworks traditionally take place around the 4th of July on Roosevelt Hill.  This year, the display was originally pushed back to Labor Day because of the virus.  On Monday, the city of Richmond and American Legion Post 65 announced the fireworks would be cancelled entirely.

CONNERSVILLE COACHES TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

(Connersville, IN)--Some area high school football teams are preparing for a season without knowing if it will be played, and some are already dealing with adversity.  At Connersville practices have been cancelled this week after two coaches tested positive for Covid-19.  Those coaches are currently in isolation.  And, Ohio schools including National Trail and Eaton are dealing with a new requirement from the OHSAA.  That requirement says that all players and coaches must be tested three days before playing a game that’s considered a contact sport.

GOFUNDME CREATOR INDICATES YOUNG CRASH VICTIM HAS DIED

(Richmond, IN)--The organizer of a gofundme account that was established to help a family involved in a crash on U.S. 40 at Round Barn Road last week has indicated that one child has now died as the result of the crash.  Nine people were hurt in that crash.  All injuries were minor except in the case of four-year-old David Kirkendall.  According to family friends, David had been on life support at a children’s hospital.  The account indicated that he died yesterday.  The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department investigated the crash and has not yet confirmed the death.

NUMBER OF NEW WAYNE COUNTY COVID-19 CASES DROPS

(Wayne County, IN)--There’s been a significant drop in the number of new Covid-19 cases in Wayne County.  New numbers on Monday morning show that there were 45 new Wayne County cases last week.  And, while that’s a lot, it is substantially less than the 71 new cases from the week before.  Six percent of people tested last week tested positive.  Wayne County now has 315 confirmed cases.  The new numbers mean that roughly one half of one percent of Wayne County’s population has tested positive.  Approximately 1/70th of 1% of Wayne County residents have died from Covid-19.

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