Welcome to the Floyd County Indiana Health Department
The Health Department supports all citizens of Floyd County wearing a mask when in public.
If you have difficulty finding masks or have a need for one, please come to the Floyd County Health Department, 1917 Bono Road, New Albany, IN 47150, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
For Frequently Asked Questions, Please Contact the Health Department at:
Free at Home Covid Tests
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Press Release - January 13 2022
The Floyd County Health Department [FCHD] is announcing the highest local Index of positive cases for the entire COVID-19 Pandemic. The spike in cases is mostly attributed to the new Omicron variant.
The local Index, based on health department data as well as information obtained from urgent care and hospital sources in Floyd County, skyrocketed to 36.8% from 28.2% last week. The percentage was 16.7% two weeks ago. This spike matches a trend seen at both State and Federal levels. It is estimated by the Center for Disease Control [CDC] that the national positive index increased from 17.9% to 27.2% in the last 7 days. Hospitalizations have also increased according to State and National reporting. Floyd County has been placed into the RED category this week by the Indiana Department of Health, the highest designation of community wide disease. We continue in the HIGH category per CDC.
The prior record peak incidence was in late December 2020.
The FCHD is calling on all Floyd County citizens over 5 years old to become fully vaccinated. Currently, 55.9% of the county over age 5 is vaccinated. [Floyd county ranks 7th out of 92 counties in Indiana for fully vaccinated people per 100,000 population.] The current outbreak is especially prominent in the 20 to 40 age group which has an immunization rate under 20%. Vaccinations are available at the FCHD, pharmacies, and primary care offices. There are no shortages of vaccines.
FCHD is also very strongly encouraging the population to wear masks in public indoor areas for at least the next two weeks. Social distancing is also recommended, as is frequent hand washing and use of sanitizer.
An important component of COVID mitigation is staying home if you become ill. If your symptoms fit the case definition for COVID-19, please get tested to confirm the diagnosis. Rapid antigen tests are currently in short supply nationally and their use is restricted by the State to symptomatic patients over 50 and those tested whom are under 18. Should you test positive, please follow the current Quarantine guidelines per www.CDC.gov.
For additional information contact the FCHD at 812-948-4726.
Tom Harris, MD, FACEP
Floyd County Health Officer
COVID-19 is in Red Category
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic
Omicron Variant Detected in Indiana
On Sunday, the Indiana Department of Health announced that the first case of the Omicron variant had been detected in Indiana. The specimen had been collected from an unvaccinated patient on the 9th of December. Before yesterday, Indiana was one of only 7 states that had not reported an Omicron case.
Early studies suggest that the Omicron strain spreads faster and easier than the Delta variant. The State Health Commissioner, Dr. Kris Box, has voiced concerns that the new strain could "increase the burden on our already stressed healthcare system."
The Center for Disease Control reports that the current Covid-19 vaccines are expected to continue prevention of severe illness, hospitalization and death in people infected with the Omicron variant.
Dr. Tom Harris, MD, Floyd County Health Officer, joins Dr. Box and CDC officials in recommending vaccination for all eligible Hoosiers 5 years and older. Booster immunization is also indicated for those over 16 years old with 6 months or more since the primary series of vaccinations with Moderna or Pfizer: or 2 months or more after Johnson and Johnson vaccination. Booster dosing appears to be very helpful in protecting against the new strain. Becoming fully vaccinated is critically important for the medically vulnerable and their
caretaers. The 20 to 40 year old age group may be especially vulnerable to the Omicron variant due to their low Covid vaccination rate.
The familiar Covid-19 mitigation measures are also helpful for the Omicron variant. Hoosiers are strongly recommended to wear a well-fitted mas indoors, test after the onset of symptoms or after a close contact exposure, stay home if sic, wash hands or use sanitizer frequently, and avoid crowded indoor venues.
For a list of vaccination sites see www.ourshot.in.gov. For further information please contact the Floyd County Health Department at 812-948-4726.
Be Well Crisis Helpline provides mental health counseling to 25,000 callers
Free service launched to support Hoosier mental health during pandemic will continue into 2023
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration today announced that its Be Well Crisis Helpline has surpassed 25,000 calls, a milestone in its ongoing efforts to provide Hoosiers with free, confidential mental health counseling and resources.
The support line is available through Indiana 211 and enables Indiana residents to speak with trained, compassionate counselors 24/7. Approximately 59% of callers have received a referral for additional mental health or substance use services or requested additional crisis counseling. FSSA also announced that federal funding will allow the agency to operate the Be Well Crisis Helpline through at least March of 2023.
“FSSA is proud of the important and continuing role our crisis counselors have played to connect with Hoosiers and provide them with the resources they need to support their mental health,” said Dan Rusyniak, M.D., FSSA secretary. “We remain committed to providing free, confidential and easy access to this resource for Hoosiers in any time of need.”
FSSA’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction initially launched the Be Well Crisis Helpline in July 2020 in response to the increased stress, anxiety and isolation Hoosiers were experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the helpline’s inception, counselors have invested more than 5,823 hours helping Hoosiers manage their mental health. Individuals who call the crisis helpline seek support for several distress reactions including anxiety or fearfulness, issues with sleep, isolation, intrusive thoughts, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, fatigue and sadness.
There continues to be a growing need for the Be Well Crisis Helpline as the number of calls received reached an all-time high of 2,228 in October 2021. Counselors have reported that not only is the call volume increasing, so is the critical nature of the calls. The most prevalent issues Hoosiers are experiencing recently include depression, anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed, and loneliness.
“As Hoosiers continue to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other stressors brought on by everyday life, it’s clear that resources such as the Be Well Crisis Helpline are still needed to support the overall well-being of individuals statewide,” said Kelsi Linville, DMHA’s director of crisis services.
Indiana residents can speak with a trained mental health counselor by dialing 2-1-1 or the toll-free number, 866-211-9966, entering their ZIP code and selecting the option for the Be Well Crisis Helpline. In addition, Be Well Indiana’s website contains supplemental resources including blog posts and videos offering tips for maintaining mental health as well as self-screening tools. For more information, please visit BeWellIndiana.org.
To view a promotional spot about the Be Well Crisis Helpline, watch the video below.
Indoor Mask Recommendation
Due to continuing increases in infections related to the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, the Floyd County Health Department [FCHD] and the Floyd County Health Officer Dr. Tom Harris are strongly encouraging all Floyd County residents to wear a mask indoors in public places for the next month.
Floyd County has seen a marked rise in COVID-19 disease in the last 6 weeks. Currently, our local index is 13.95%, up from 8.29% just a month ago. The incidence per 100,000 population has accelerated to 337, a level not seen since last winter. Over 95% of new cases are the more virulent and infective Delta variant. We have been continued in ORANGE status this week by the Indiana Department of Health; only the RED category is higher. The Center for Disease Control rating for our community is similar. [Floyd county spent much of the early summer in the lower YELLOW category.] Additionally, the FCHD has encountered more people seeking COVID PCR and Antigen tests than earlier this year, in conjunction with reports from Primary Care Providers detailing more COVID related office visits.
The mask recommendation does not apply to outdoor events or venues. Masks may be removed while eating or drinking in public areas. This recommendation does not change school related mask requirements. We continue to support in-school mask requirements.
The FCHD continues to advise all eligible residents to get a vaccination for COVID, not only to protect themselves and their families but to help flatten the sharper curve of community disease caused by the Delta variant. Floyd County has 50.1% of the population fully vaccinated with 54.2% receiving at least 1 dose. 13.7% of our population is currently excluded from immunization due to age under 12. Over 76,000 doses have been given to Floyd County residents since the vaccination program started. The FCHD started giving the third or Booster dose to immunocompromised patients on Monday the 16th. We will also increase vaccine hours to meet the demands of the national Booster program estimated to begin September 20th. This will serve the new recommendation for a third dose 8 months after the completion of the primary series.
This announcement is in agreement with Center for Disease Control updates. It is not a requirement or mandate, and therefore is exempt from County Commissioner interference or voting under SEA 5 related statutes. However, if COVID disease continues to spread in our community despite mitigation measures our next step will be to request formal political approval of a county wide mask mandate to protect the health and safety of our residents. For additional information please contact 812-948-4726.
Thomas M. Harris, MD, FACEP
Floyd County Health Officer
FCHD Policy for COVID Booster Immunizations, Effective 16 August 2021
According to the CDC, people who are eligible for a third dose are:
- People in active cancer treatment; those who have received organ transplants and are taking immunosuppressive therapy;
- People who have received CAR-T cell or blood stem cell transplants;
- People who suffer from moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as those with DiGeorge or Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes);
- People with advanced, untreated, or unknown status HIV infection;
- People taking 20 milligrams or more of prednisone or similar corticosteroid every day, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, severely immunosuppressive cancer chemotherapeutic agents, TNF blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.
Patients should receive a third dose no earlier than 28 days from the completion of the second dose in the series. The patient should, whenever possible, receive the same brand of vaccine, at the standard dose. The Booster policy includes ages 12 and up.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is not included in the Booster regimen at this time; neither second dose efficacy or timing have been fully studied. People requesting Booster injections that previously received the J & J immunization will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
We will start giving Booster doses on 16 August 2021 for walk-in patients, and we will schedule them for the Tuesday clinic and accept them at Pop-ups.
CDC estimates about 3% of the population fits the above criteria; this would suggest a need to provide about 2300 additional vaccine doses to the citizens of Floyd County. We will continue to encourage everyone eligible to get the primary series of COVID immunizations, especially due to the Delta variant.
The CDC and the FDA have not issued guidelines for a general public Booster program, and currently routine use of Booster doses in this population is not recommended. If this policy changes our local procedures will be modified as well.
Thomas M. Harris, MD, FACEP
Floyd County Health Officer
14 August 2021
Floyd County Health Department Executive Order Number 3-2021 Modified
After working with the Floyd County Commissioners, and with regard to the new SEA 5 statute, Executive Order 03 is modified.
The Floyd County Health Officer, Dr. Thomas Harris, MD is continuing to very strongly recommend that school agencies require the use of masks for in-school indoor education for grades K to 6. Masks are very strongly recommended for grades 7 to 12.
With this modification, each school system will be able to decide its course of action. The school systems will then report their decisions to the Health Department. The Floyd County Health Department stands ready to provide assistance and information in this process. The Centers for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Indiana State Department of Health all strongly support the use of masks for every in-classroom student.
The Delta Variant remains a significant threat to our community. It is 225% more infectious and has 1000 times the viral load of the original COVID-19 strain. At this time vaccine are not approved for children under 12 years old. Research also shows that the elementary age group clearly benefits from in-classroom instruction. Therefore, the public health response for this critical age depends on aggressive masking and mitigation measures to continue the best education modality for them.
This modification is also in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 21-19(4), issued 29 July 2021.
Thomas M. Harris, MD, FACEP
Floyd County Health Officer
Covid-19 Information Resources
Beware that there is a lot of misleading and incorrect information being circulated by podcast and Facebook. We want people to have good data, so we are listing these sources that are highly respected by the medical field.
Floyd County Mass Notification System
In the event that the county needs to disseminate information to Floyd County Residents regarding Covid-19, we would like to alert Floyd County Residents to sign up for the Floyd County Mass Notification System.
The Mass Notification System is an Emergency Alert System that will alert the residents of Floyd County on weather, imminent threats to health and safety as well as informational notifications that affect your locations or work environments.
Thank you for visiting the updated website for the Floyd County Health Department. Please see the Health Department menu for more information.
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