As the number of COVID-19 cases increased by 20 statewide on Friday, the county's health officer ordered the closure of several more “non-essential” businesses.

Dr. Alan Stewart issued a notice that, per recommendations made by Gov. Eric Holcomb Friday morning, businesses such as tanning salons, nail salons, hair salons, barber shops, spas, tattoo and piercing studios and massage and acupuncture establishments were to close by the end of the day.

The notice indicates they could be allowed to reopen on April 6, but that the “closure could be extended further.”

The increased shut down was the result of the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Indiana rising to 79 overnight, up from 56 on Thursday, including single cases now in Evansville and Terre Haute.

The total number of Hoosiers tested so far numbers 554, according to the state Department of Health's website, and the state has seen 3 deaths.

There have not yet been any confirmed cases in Knox County, although health officials have said they are awaiting test results; they will not say how many locals have been tested, however

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an overnight increase of about 5,000 cases nationally, up to 15,219, and there have been, so far, 201 reported deaths.

As part of the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts Good Samaritan Hospital is establishing a Suspected Respiratory Illness Clinic to assess patients with a drive-thru triage service. The clinic will open on Monday be at the Convenient Care Clinic, 1813 Willow St., with hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Beginning March 28, the clinic will have hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

This site will be following the approved guidelines for testing of COVID-19. It will not only be a testing site, but also a medical triage location for assessing patients' conditions.

Staff will provide care give further instructions on how a patient can care for themselves at home; if necessary, staff will arrange for further assessment at the hospital.

Call 812-885-3331 to speak to a nurse prior to arriving. This will help determine if a virtual visit may be more appropriate.

Patients with non-respiratory illnesses in need of non-urgent, walk-in care for services typically provided at the Convenient Care Clinic can now seek care at the Medical Center of Vincennes, 406 N. First St. Walk-in hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and beginning March 28, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday-Sunday.

Good Samaritan Hospital on Friday announced another tightening of its visitor policy. In fact, the hospital is no longer allowing visitors at all.

Exceptions will be made in the departments of outpatient surgery, in-patient surgery, patients with mental impairments that need assistance communicating, those at end of life, pediatric patients, a laboring mother or those in behavioral health.

Even in those instances, one visitor is allowed per patient per day, and they must be at least 18 years of age.

And all exceptions, according to a press release sent out by hospital officials, “is at the discretion of clinical leadership.”

All visitors that are allowed into the hospital will be screened.

The governor also on Friday announced that the upcoming primary election, previously scheduled for May 5, will be postponed to June 2 as a result of the pandemic.

Other election-related deadlines, too, will be adjusted. The deadline to now return an absentee allot — and county clerks are encouraging everyone who can to vote absentee during this election cycle — is now May 21.

Voter registration will now go until May 4, and early voting will begin on May 6.

County clerk David Shelton said he is making arrangements to host absentee voting outside on the courthouse lawn — weather permitting — in an effort to reduce the number of people gathering inside the election room in the courthouse.

Members of the United Way of Knox County on Friday also announced a partnership with the Duke Energy Foundation to set up a Local Impact Fund to help its agencies, specifically ones who are dealing with meeting the emergency needs of food and basic items amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Hill said 100% of any money donated will “stay right here in Knox County” and that more details “regarding the process and timing of these funds” will be released next week.

People can contribute by sending a check made out to United Way to P.O. Box 198, Vincennes, IN, 47591 — note “COVID-19 Local Impact Fund” on the check — or donations can be made by texting KNOXSTRONG to 91999.

CLOSURES AND CANCELLATIONS

Cancelations and closings due to the coronavirus:

• The Sun-Commercial customer service counter is closed until further notice.

• The Knox County Clerk’s office is hereby instructing all persons who make child support payments in person now submit their payment by placing it into an envelope and placing the payment into the dropbox, located on the 8th Street side of the courthouse.  After the payment is processed, a receipt will be mailed.   Please include name and address on the envelope.  Payments can also be made online, at Childsupport.in.gov/pay. For voter registration and absentee ballot requests, please call 812 895-4927.  For other court related inquiries, please call 812 895-2521.

• WorkOne's Vincennes office, 1500 N. Chestnut St. in Vincennes University's Van Eaton Indiana Center for Advanced Technology, is closed until further notice. For information on re-employment services, call 812-882-8770.

• Vincennes Cub League practices have been suspended now through May 2. This year's season was scheduled to begin on April 11

• Vincennes University's Donald G. Bell Student Recreation Center, P.E. Complex, Aquatic Center and Bowling Center are closed.

• Vincennes University is cancelling all face-to-face commencements scheduled through May 16.

• The Grow City Garden 2020 Spring Workshops at the Knox County Public Library have been suspended.

• Good Samaritan Hospital has cancelled its Community Health Services for the month.

• The George Rogers Clark Memorial has closed; the visitor center and park grounds remain open.

• The Decker Chapel Alumni banquet has been cancelled. For more information contact Linda Fox at 812-890-2353.

• The Samaritan Center has cancelled its drop-in program and Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

• The Catholic Diocese of Evansville has suspended public masses.

• Indiana Military Museum will be closed to the public beginning Thursday and until further notice. Museum officials have also cancelled the upcoming World War I event, originally scheduled for this weekend.

• The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy will be closed until March 31.

• The Vincennes Visitors Bureau will be closed until March 30.

• Kite Day at the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, originally scheduled for March 28, has been postponed. Park rangers have not said if it will be rescheduled.

• City Hall is now closed to walk-in visitors. This includes all city departments, including the animal shelter at 1128 River Road. The lobby at Vincennes Police Department, 501 Busseron St., is still OPEN. For more information, contact city officials at 812-882-7285.

• Vincennes Community School Corp., South Knox School Corp., North Knox School Corp. and Vincennes Catholic Schools are out until May 1. Arrangements are being made for meal pickup; those details are forthcoming.

• State Historic Sites and Grouseland are closed to visitors.

• KCARC’s 1972 community center is closed as is KCARC’s Civitan Children’s Center.

• Pace Community Action Agency Inc.is closed but managers are available to help clients via a call center that can be accessed at 812-882-7927.

• YMCA of Vincennes as well as the Bettye J. McCormick Senior Center are closed until further notice. VanGo is operating with limited service. For information on rides, call 812-886-3381.

• The Knox County Public Library will be closed at least until April 6.

• Monroe City Town Hall is closed, but payments can be made via the drive-up window.

• Vincennes Water Utilities is closed to walk-in traffic; payments can be made via the drive-up window.

• Old Town Players has cancelled its April production of “Godspell.”

• The Decker High School Alumni Banquet scheduled for April 4 has been cancelled.

• The Monroe City High School alumni banquet scheduled April 4 has been cancelled for this year.

• The Fritchton High School Alumni Banquet scheduled for April 18 has been cancelled

• The Freelandville High School's 103rd Alumni banquet, originally scheduled for May 9, has been cancelled.

• Knox County's recycling drop-off locations including the Household Hazardous Waste facility, are closed

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