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Whitley County Health Department sends out COVID–19 public notice concerning sheriff’s office

From The News Journal -

Whitley County Facebook Page

The Whitley County Health Department is advising that anyone, who visited the Whitley County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, July 27, may have been exposed to COVID–19.

Officials emphasized that exposure would have been limited to the sheriff’s office located in the Whitley County Courthouse and not anyone other county offices, which includes the judge-executive, county clerk, property valuation administrator, and county attorney’s office.

The exposure may have occurred between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sheriff Todd Shelley said an employee, who had previously tested negative, may have been exposed to a family member confirmed to have COVID–19.

“As soon as the employees found out, the employee was sent home,” Shelley said.

Shelley said there is a large shower liner hanging from the ceiling to the counter in the sheriff’s office, which only has a small slots for paperwork to be passed back and forth.

“The girls are constantly spraying and wiping down the counter and their desks with disinfectant,” Shelley said adding that deputies are taking similar steps with their cruisers, handcuffs, and other equipment that may come into contact with members of the public.

In addition, all of the employees are required to wear masks when in contact with the public or other employees.

Individuals, who believe they may be at risk because of potential exposure, are asked to contact the health department at 549-3380. Those who are ill should contact their healthcare provider. This marks the second such notice the health department has issued.

The first notice involved Saxton Baptist Church in Williamsburg.

Health Department Director Marcy Rein said previously that the goal is determining who and how many people may have been exposed. It is not to punish those people, but to determine the connections that have resulted, and who else those individuals may have come into contact with.

“We are trying to develop the big picture,” Rein said.

Rein said in order for the health department to issue a public notice concerning a business or organization and a communicable disease, two out of four critera must be met.

Those criteria include:

  • More than 10 people present

  • The use of physical distancing and face coverings

  • Cluster of more than two people testing positive

  • That cluster not involving people from the same household

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