Penske Logistics is the latest novel coronavirus “hot spot” in Shelby County.

The company now has over 30 employees that have tested positive for COVID-19. And the threat of the disease spreading has caused employees to call off work, leaving the company in a bind.

Tractor trailers have been lined up as far as Interstate 74, according to Robert Lewis, director of the Shelby County Health Department.

“There are not enough people to unload them,” he said Tuesday morning.

The goal is to set up a drive through COVID-19 testing center Friday at Penske Logistics, 4301 County Road 125 West in Shelbyville.

“We hope to get 18 people through every 15 minutes,” said Lewis.

Either the state health department or Major Health Partners Medical Center staff will conduct the testing. Ryan Claxton, vice president of business development and strategy, was not sure yet about Friday’s planned testing center.

Claxton stated that the health department would do the tests or deliver enough tests for MHP staff to handle testing on more than 350 Penske employees that have not yet been tested.

“We’ve had a high amount of Penske related people here at the hospital,” he said.

Claxton confirmed that two more Penske employees were in MHP Medical Center’s Emergency Room Monday with COVID-19 related symptoms.

Shelby County’s initial “hot spot,” Morristown Manor, has leveled off its positive results.

“They have done what they can. It’s very unfortunate it was introduced there,” said Lewis.

The nursing home and rehabilitation facility had 57 positive tests and 10 deaths.

“As a family-centered organization, we value the lives and safety of our residents and our associates. In this spirit, we mourn with those families that have lost loved ones to COVID-19 and we continue to take aggressive measures to manage the impact of this virus in our senior living community,” said Andrew Buzzard, administrator at Morristown Manor, in a media release.

The company’s response followed guidelines set forth by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). The company continues to share information with its residents, their loved ones and caregivers, according to the statement. That procedure expanded Monday with daily updates regarding both positive and presumptive positive COVID-19 cases at Morristown Manor in northeastern Shelby County.

“We applaud our heroic associates for the care they are providing during this challenging time,” said Buzzard. “Their health and safety are a top priority too and we screen them daily for fever and any other signs or symptoms of respiratory illness. We have ample personal protective equipment (PPE). Every nursing associate wears an N95 mask and all other associates continually wear standard surgical masks. We have also given our associates masks to wear when they are away from work. Any associated who tests positive for COVID-19 must follow ISDH guidelines for returning to work.”

As of Tuesday morning, Morristown Manor was the only nursing home or assisted living facility with COVID-19 positives amongst its residents.

“All the nursing homes are doing OK with their employees and residents,” said Lewis.

“There are no known outbreaks anywhere else,” confirmed Claxton.
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