CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - As more and more positive coronavirus cases start to pop up across the Hoosier state, Clark County Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel says he wants the community to have calm confidence in the decisions being made.
“We’ve really gone from the preparation phase to the response phase now,” Yazel told WAVE 3 News.
Yazel has been keeping the community updated by posting what he calls a ‘Daily Dose of Calm’ everyday on Facebook.
As of Thursday evening, Clark County had 10 positive coronavirus cases.
"I think we have to be real and tell them what's going on," Yazel said.
He has written many of his posts after long shifts that last late into the night. In one recent post, he called his 18-hour workday “mentally and physically exhausting.” In another post, he said he felt like he had “aged a decade in about two weeks” and went on to describe the current situation as a “bad movie.”
“One thing that’s been a huge help [is] people are following our instructions,” Yazel said. “Our ER volumes overall have been way down actually, it’s been a quiet time. People are staying home for minor illnesses and listening to the message that we’re sending..”
Clark Memorial Hospital is using a mobile testing unit, which is set up outside to allow doctors to screen possible patients outside the hospital, keeping them away from the ER and other patients.
Nationwide there is a concern over a shortage of personal protective equipment. Yazel said he's aware of that but insists Clark County is okay right now.
"Right now we're low, but we're not in a critical supply," he said. 'We have an emergency operations centers that are rolling out the PPE in a responsible manor. So we can't afford to be wasteful but we feel okay with where we're at right now."
He says the shutdowns and calls to stay home will likely last for several weeks.
"It's a marathon, not a sprint," Yazel said. 'You have to understand this isn't going to be an easy thing and not every [daily dose of calm] post is going to be rosy but we need to band together as a community for when the times get tough."
Yazel said the community support for the ‘Daily Dose of Calm’ posts has been overwhelming. He added the community has really stepped up in a lot of ways that he’s proud to see.
“That helps us to meet the needs of the ones who are really sick so we can focus on the people that need it the most,” Yazel said. “So I commend the population, at least around here, for doing what we need them to do most.”