Mayor Bettice reiterates that no function of the City will change for Fire, Police, and City Utilities will function as usual while being safe. The City will be making sure that there is social distancing with employees that work together, but the City will make sure the City still runs efficiently. Mayor Bettice stated that he asks the community that when they are making a decision over the next few weeks, that we not only do what is best for themselves to stay safe, but consider what is best for your family, neighbors, co-workers, and friends to keep the community safe as a whole. Batesville, IN—The City of Batesville, Margaret Mary Health, The Ripley County Health Department, and Batesville Community School Corporation held a joint meeting to address any concerns currently on the CONVID-19 pandemic and to relay how it is being handled in the City, the County, as well as the region. Dr. Welsh, Health Officer for the Ripley County Health Department and Tim Putnam, President and CEO of Margaret Mary Health each reiterated that there are no known cases of the virus in the County as of today. Dr. Welsh continues to express that the best prevention at this time is to follow good handwashing procedures, don’t go out if you are sick and keep a healthy social distance of about 6 feet from people if you do have to be out in large crowds. Dr. Welsh stated that he knows there seems to be a shortage of sanitizers and disinfectants but that soap and water will disinfect just as well as anything else for this particular virus. Putnam relayed that the problem currently for the area is that influenza A and B are still both widespread and hitting the community hard. He stated they are working closely with the Health Department and are prepared to test for the virus at the hospital who meet the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and the Indiana State Department of Health. MMH is prepared and ready to test patients who meet the criteria, “we realize the COVID-19 pandemic is concerning and there are still many questions to be answered,” said Putnam. “Be assured that we have a response team in place that is meeting regularly to monitor and respond to this dynamic situation. We are also coordinating with state and national officials, as well as area healthcare providers and community leaders, and will make every effort to provide updates as this pandemic evolves.” If a patient presents with issues, they will be treating the symptoms systematically. Putnam expressed that as information develops, the hospital will make the public aware of all situations. Putnam also expressed that MMH has a response team that is meeting regularly to have to newest information available to handle any situation set. MMH is currently implementing a mass visitor restriction to help with the best interest of the health of the community. Starting immediately, access points at the Main Campus will be restricted. Patients and Visitors will only be able to enter through the main lobby, ER, and Women’s Imaging. No visitors under the age of 18 will be permitted. The Hospital will begin screening visitors for respiratory symptoms ( cough, shortness of breath, fever, possible exposure). High School mentorships will be suspended at this time, use of the café will be limited to team members, patients, and visitors of patients. The Volunteer Program will be suspended and all MMH community-sponsored classes and support groups will be suspended through May 1 and will be reassessed at that point. Paul Ketcham, Superintendent for Batesville Community School Corporation stated he wrestled with the decision but thanked Dr. Welsh to help with updated information to make the most informed decision. With the best intentions to keep students, teachers, parents, grandparents, and the community safe as a whole, Ketchum stated the school will be implementing the eLearning days for the week of March 16-20. There will be no after school activities next week. Employees will report to school on Monday to prepare a curriculum for the eLearning. This will give a full 14 days with spring break. Ketchum wanted to state that information on this issue comes fast and furious, and so he hopes parents understand that as they do the best to share information, it can change quickly. He states that they will do their best to provide the community with the information as it changes. The entire meeting is available by clicking here.