PRINCETON — Gov. Eric Holcomb said Monday that he plans to look data for the third phase of the Back On Track Indiana plan and report any changes at a Wednesday COVID-19 briefing.

The state guidelines for the third phase are scheduled to be in place May 24-June 13, when social gathering caps are increased to 100 people or fewer, with proper social distancing and wearing masks recommended.

Under the third phase, government offices would continue operating with limited public access, office settings would continue to operate with remote work encouraged, non-essential retail business can increase to 75% capacity, restaurants remain at 50% capacity.

Bars and entertainment venues remain closed, but gyms can open May 24, according to the plan.

Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box confirmed a new OptumServe COVID-19 testing facility will open in Princeton, offering tests at no cost. She said more details will be announced later this week.

Meanwhile, Box renewed her appeal to residents to wear a mask in public settings where social distancing is difficult. “Remember, you might not know that you have COVID-19,” she said. “Cloth face coverings can help...My mask protects you and your mask protects me.” She asked people to continue to reduce the number of trips they make in public and keep practicing frequent hand-washing. “Taking this personal responsibility impacts how well we’re going to do as a state as we open up. If we all take these simple precautions, then we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our state.”

Gibson County Health Department is accepting donations of homemade masks that will be distributed to businesses and restaurants in the community.

The local health department also offered guidance to patrons doing business in county offices, asking them to bring a face mask and practice social distancing at the courthouse or associated county offices. The health department also recommends courthouse and county staff wear masks while in common areas and away from their personal workspace, especially while serving the public.

The agency also reminded residents not to enter county offices if they have symptoms including a fever, diarrhea or vomiting int he last 48 hours, symptoms of a respiratory nature such as shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, etc. Anyone who has had contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 case are also asked to not visit county offices, and to call the county office for assistance with service.

Business owners or people who need assistance in identifying who is considered a close contact of COVID-19 positive employees, or who need information about how contacts need to be quarantined, should contact the health department at 812-385-3831.

Gibson County Sheriff’s Office reported the facility is partially open to the public, with the front door to the building open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Assistance is available by phone at 812-385-3496. Email info@gibsoncountysheriff.com (non-emergency emails only).

Visitors can access the phone card and commissary kiosks in the lobby, but the jail visitation room is still closed. Online inmate visits can be scheduled at https://inmate sales.com/#!/login

Pay for gun permits (local fees) and tax warrants online at https://www.govpaynow.com/.

For gun permits, use Pay Location Code 8081. For tax warrants, use Pay Location Code 1332.

The gun permits option is for residents living outside city limits with a police department handling gun permits. Contact the Princeton Police Department directly if you live inside city limits.

9th case confirmed

The health department confirmed a ninth COVID-19 case Friday in Gibson County and was investigating and notifying contacts of the person, who is in their 50s.

A tenth case was reported by the Indiana State Department of health Saturday, but the local health department said that case is not a Gibson County resident, and the state report was corrected Monday. The local health department has reported that seven of the nine cases are recovering. Some 291 tests have been reported in Gibson County during the pandemic.

Statewide, ISDH reported 28,255 cases and 1,621 deaths from COVID-19, with 183,912 tests reported across the state as of Monday.

Posey County reports 16 cases; Vanderburgh 219 and two deaths; Warrick 151 cases and 24 deaths; Dubois 161 cases and two deaths; Pike five cases; Knox 22 cases; Daviess 71 cases and 15 deaths.

In Southeastern Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports one case in Wabash; two each in White, Gallatin, Hamilton and Edwards; three in Richland; four in Lawrence; nine cases and one death in Wayne; and 11 cases in Crawford County.

Dr. Box Monday confirmed Indiana’s first case of multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome, which has recently been reported seen in children in other states. She said a health alert was issued Friday by ISDH and the CDC to hospitals and physicians, asking them to report further cases.

Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com.

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

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