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January 17, 2021


To 'V' or not to 'V' is timely question at hand
To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate, that is the question.

If William Shakespeare could have predicted the global pandemic of 2020, it's likely he would have written a masterpiece about it. Perhaps it would have been akin to Romeo & Juliet, but instead of the Capulets vs. the Montagues, the plot would be centered around the question whether to vaccinate or not.

With two COVID-19 vaccines currently being distributed nationwide, there is a debate between members of the public on whether or not they will, or should, get the injection even when it becomes regularly available to the public.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Locals line up for shots
If telephone calls to the JC Health Deartment are any indication, people in Jennings County are anxious, if not impatient, to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

"We are overwhelmed with calls," noted Public Health Nurse Pam Petry last week. It was right after the Indiana Department of Health announced that vaccines would be available for anyone 80 and over that the calls started flooding the office.

Her advice?
Be patient.

Now, on Wednesday, Jan. 13, it may be announced that the vaccines will be available for those 70 and over. If this is announced, it will be put on our web site, plaindealer-sun.com.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

'Scarce resource' is in demand as state sets recipients of shots
According to public health nurse Pam Petry at the Jennings County Health Department, 200 doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine, 100 on Thursday, Jan. 7 and 100 on Monday, Jan. 11 will arrive in Jennings - fingers crossed!

Then, once the department's computer system is set to schedule and administer these lifesaving shots, injections will be starting sometime
next week for local targeted individuals.

If you are eligible to receive the vaccination but are unable to secure one of the 200 doses at the health department, fear not, you can still make an appointment at Columbus Regional Hospital.

On Monday, Jan. 4, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) approved first responders, such as firefighters and police officers, to be included in the category of people who are eligible to receive the vaccine. It was initially thought that people in the 75+ age range would be the next to receive the vaccine; however, vaccine eligibility is delegated by the ISDH, but that hasn't stopped the multiple phone calls the local health department experiences daily.

"It's a scarce resource," Petry said of the medicine and the department
must take their orders from the state who determine what segment of the populaltion the shots can be administer to.

"As it changes we will let you know," the public health nurse said.

Friday, January 8, 2021

JC schools return despite county's COVID red status
School reopening plans for Jan. 5 did not change despite the Red status. Grades K-6 return to school daily with safety protocols in place since classrooms are able to maintain distancing and keep students in smaller groups.

For at least the first two weeks, grades 7-12 will return following the hybrid schedule to enable social distancing and smaller classes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

State sets vaccination schedule for population
The following are the general phases of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility set forth by the CDC. Note this can differ day-to-day and state-to-state:
Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New crisis hotline has proved to be lifeline during pandemic
The Be Well Crisis Helpline recently passed an important milepost as it enters its sixth month of operation. The free service was launched in July to support the mental health needs of Hoosiers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The service has answered more than 6,000 calls for help as it continues to provide 24/7 access to experienced and compassionate counselors, specially trained to help with the personal challenges that have come along with this pandemic.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Vaccines arriving this week
According to public health nurse Pam Petry at the Jennings County Health Department, 200 doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine, 100 on Thursday, Jan. 7 and 100 on Monday, Jan. 11 will arrive in Jennings - fingers crossed!

Then, once the department's computer system is set to schedule and administer these lifesaving shots, injections will be starting sometime next week for local targeted individuals.

If you are eligible to receive the vaccination but are unable to secure one of the 200 doses at the health department, fear not, you can still make an appointment at Columbus Regional Hospital.

On Monday, Jan. 4, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) approved first responders, such as firefighters and police officers, to be included in the category of people who are eligible to receive the vaccine. It was initially thought that people in the 75+ age range would be the next to receive the vaccine; however, vaccine eligibility is delegated by the ISDH, but that hasn't stopped the multiple phone calls
the local health department experiences daily.

"It's a scarce resource," Petry said of the medicine and the department must take their orders from the state who determine what segment of the populaltion the shots can be administer to.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

JC Mask-Up Task Force dispenses their gear to local businesses
The Mask Up Jennings! educational campaign was inspired by a group of Jennings County community leaders and health professionals who are committed to fighting the spread and keeping our businesses open, students and teachers healthy, and healthcare workers protected.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Vaccines for novel coronavirus soon to be available to the public ages 75+
The long-awaited day has come: a vaccine for the novel coronavirus has been distributed and is on its way to being available to the public.

At present, only a selection of frontline healthcare staff associated with a hospital, long-term care staff, emergency medical services providers, special local health department staff, and dialysis center staff who have physical or close contact with patients or infectious material are eligible to register for the vaccine.

Vaccine-approved organizations and facilities in Jennings County include the JC Health Department, Autumn Trace, Majestic Care, and Rescue 20.

Board of Health Nurse Pam Petry was one of the first staff members at the local health department to receive the vaccination. The department will soon host a vaccination clinic once it becomes available to the public, so Petry traveled to Columbus Regional just a few days before Christmas for the first of two doses-both vaccines are a two-dose series.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

JC schools on virtual mode
Keeping kids in school for face to face instruction continues to of Jennings County Schools. However, with the pandemic ramping up, and it being expected to continue on this pathway for the next few months, local schools are responding.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Appointment needed for test
If you want to get tested for the virus, an appointment is needed at the free testing site at the ETC, 1200 West O&M Avenue.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Local task force recalled
The Jennings County Coronavirus Task Force has been called back into action.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

PPE is still available free to businesses
With the number of COVID-19 cases going up in the area, businesses may need to restock their 3-ply masks and liquid sanitizers.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Schneck to begin prioritizing surgeries and procedures
Due to the increase in COVID-related hospitalizations, Schneck Medical Center must begin carefully prioritizing surgeries and procedures.

Prioritization will be based on a variety of factors including the individual patient's medical condition and risk for disease progression, as well as availability of the organization's capacity level and vital resources such as critical equipment and supplies, available staff, and beds.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Letter from Superintendent details school changes, effective November 16
The following was posted to Facebook by JC Superintendent Teresa Brown:

November 12, 2020
Dear JCSC Families,

As you know in Jennings County, we have been experiencing an increased number of COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. Keeping kids in school for face to face instruction continues to be our goal. We know it is best for kids. However, with the pandemic ramping up, and it being expected to continue on this pathway for the next few months, we are making some changes to allow us to function safely.

We have had to close Hayden and North Vernon Elementary until November 30th due to widespread close contacts of positive COVID cases and a shortage of staff. With the exception of one school, we have every building experiencing large numbers of student and staff absences. We now have 28 staff members out due to COVID or close contact reasons (not counting JCHS or Hayden). With JCHS and Hayden included, we have 48 staff members out for COVID related reasons. When speaking with our health department today, I was told the community spread is significant, and it is "escalating at a high rate".

Therefore, beginning Monday, November 16th, we will be moving the entire district to virtual learning until November 30th. This is actually for seven school days due to Thanksgiving Vacation. We will allow sports/ECAs to resume on November 16th for JCHS, so teams can begin getting in practices etc... (with strict protocols being enforced). JCMS and elementary schools will wait until November 30th to resume sports/ECAs.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Jennings County on verge of crackdown
Jennings County went 'Red' last week with the GOP winning big time.
Now, the county is positioning to go red again, but this time it has nothing to do with politics.

It has everything to do with health and it's not good news for anybody.
"The amount of Covid cases are going up drastically," reports JC Health Department manager Peggy Roe.

"That's why we are anticipating the worse."

That "worst" would be for the Indiana Department of Health to elevate Jennings' COVID-19 status to Red, from the Orange level it was raised to last week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Hard to believe, but the virus hasn't been all bad
Myra Godfrey, a publicist with a marketing solutions company, says contactless menus may be one of the most interesting permanent changes to the dining experience to come out of the pandemic.

"Part health and safety, part online efficiency, contactless menus allow for customers to safely and easily view and order from restaurants for dine-in or dine-out and for restaurants to keep their menus on top of up-to-the-minute changes," said Myra.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

JCHS goes 'virtual' for next two weeks
Due to three positive COVID cases and several staff members being considered close contacts with these positive cases, Jennings County High School has moved to virtual instruction for a two week shutdown starting on Nov. 3 and will return for in-person instruction on Monday, Nov. 16. Athletics and extracurriculars will also follow this schedule.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020

JCHS to move to virtual Instruction beginning Nov. 3
On Monday, November 2, 2020 Superintendent Teresa Brown posted on Facebook the following information regarding Jennings County High School:

Due to positive COVID cases at JCHS, the high school will move to virtual instruction beginning on Tuesday, 11/3/2020. Please see the quick information guide below:

• Virtual Instruction at JCHS - Jennings County High School students will be utilizing virtual learning from home beginning Tuesday, 11/3/2020. Students will receive their coursework via Google Classroom.

• Athletics and Extracurriculars - ALL Jennings County High School extracurricular and athletic events, practices, contests, and performances are postponed during the closure.

• Quarantining during Closure - To keep the spread of the COVID-19 virus to a minimum please remain at home during the school closure. If and when you must be in public be certain to follow social distancing guidelines and be wearing a mask.

• Positive COVID Test - Please be sure to let JCHS know if your student has a positive COVID test during the school closure.

• Food Distribution - JCHS will be distributing food to students in need. Details about food distribution will be shared at a later time.

• Return to In-Person Instruction - Students will return to JCHS for in-person instruction beginning on Monday, 11/16/2020.

Monday, November 2, 2020


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