Melissa Dismore, registered nurse, deposits a COVID-19 test into a container held by Laci Frodge, registered nurse, at the Fountain and Warren County Health Department, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 in Attica. Staff photo by Nikos Frazier
Melissa Dismore, registered nurse, deposits a COVID-19 test into a container held by Laci Frodge, registered nurse, at the Fountain and Warren County Health Department, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 in Attica. Staff photo by Nikos Frazier
ATTICA — As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in rural Fountain County, Dr. Sean Sharma, health officer for the Fountain and Warren County Health Department, continued to get a mixed reaction after sounding a public alarm this week.

When Fountain County, a neighbor to Tippecanoe County to the southwest, was designated by state health officials as a hot spot for coronavirus, Sharma urged local school and elected officials to come together and revise their efforts to defeat the virus.

To help curb the spread, Sharma's department issued guidance Wednesday for all schools in the two-county area. Recommendations ranged canceling all extracurricular events to moving K-12 in-person instruction to distance learning for at least a week.

With the guidance being merely a list of recommendations rather than a mandate, Sharma said one of the biggest challenges is getting community buy-in. Not all schools were ready to heed his call.

“We need to focus on what we have, not on what we don’t have," Sharma said. "We need to focus on what we can control, not on what we can’t control. We know that COVID, with simple, appropriate precautions, is easy to control. It doesn't mean we're going to get it perfect, but it does mean that we can do better than we have done over the last four weeks.”
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