SCOTT COUNTY, Ind. (May 21, 2015)– Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams declared a public health emergency in Scott County Thursday that will be in effect from May 25 through May 24, 2016.
The HIV outbreak in southeastern Indiana has grown to 160 cases, with 159 of those cases confirmed. The other case is preliminarily positive.
An executive order signed by Governor Mike Pence is set to expire next week. Pence’s order permitted the Scott County Health Department to create a needle exchange program as part of efforts to combat HIV. The program will continue uninterrupted.
“We have had over 1,400 services utilized at the One-Stop Shop in Austin, all at no cost to the individual, including more than 300 people who have signed up for the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “We know our efforts are working and I thank all of our partners, at the state, local and federal level, for their continued support during this emergency.”
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) opened the Austin Community Outreach Center on March 30. The center provides services including access to state-issued ID cards, birth certificates, job counseling and local training, enrollment in HIP 2.0 insurance, HIV testing, HIV care coordination, substance abuse referrals and vaccinations against tetanus, Hepatitis A and B.
Meantime, Adams spent much of his day in Washington, DC on Thursday, testifying before a House subcommittee on issues like drugs and needle sharing which have led to the outbreak.
“At the root of this outbreak is our country’s prescription opioid crisis,” said Adams.
An emergency response team from the CDC has been in Scott County since March at the request of the ISDH.
The Community Outreach Center is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Grace Covenant Church is providing free shuttle service to and from Austin by calling (317) 617-2223.
For more information about the One-Stop Shop, call (317) 605-1480. The center provides HIV testing, vaccinations and other resources.