Coronavirus update 2 for March 25th: State asks schools to open for childcare; Parks closed; BCCF creates fund

State suggests schools open buildings for limited childcare

In a continuing effort to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Eric J. Holcomb has announced additional efforts, including new guidance for child care.

Here are other actions the State of Indiana has taken:

  • The Indiana State Department of Education (DOE) and Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) have teamed to encourage school corporations in Indiana to open schools on a limited basis to provide child care services for emergency workers and others who are working to keep communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • On Friday, FSSA provided new guidance for child care operators who are licensed by the state. Here is the link: https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/5761.htm
    • Today, DOE provided similar guidance to school corporations to care for the school age children of essential workers. The guidance provides specific steps for schools to take to open school facilities as well as how to maintain a safe environment. https://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/news/child-care-recommendation-essential-personnel.pdf
    • Among precautions for school district officials, the steps include collecting child health records, allowing extra time for deep cleaning, prohibiting staff who are in high-risk categories from providing the care, and keeping groups of students in separate areas of the building.
  • The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has spoken to more than 1,000 businesses and economic development agencies in the last five days about ways to continue supporting the states economy as well as its front-line COVID-19 pandemic response workers.
    • More than 135 companies have been fully vetted as being able to help, including RV and auto manufacturers that are switching lines to help make shields, masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
    • Multiple companies including Subaru, Heritage Group and Summit MMI have come together to donate thousands of PPE. Restaurants and companies have donated thousands of gloves.
  • Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced Community Development Block Grant funds may be redirected to assist with COVID-19 needs based on guidance from the United States Housing and Urban Development. This program could help fund projects such as mobile testing areas or economic assistance packages for small businesses.
  • More information may be found at the ISDH website at in.gov/coronavirus/ and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Columbus parks announce more closings

The City of Columbus, following guidance from the Indiana Governors office and the Indiana Department of Health, and in support of the community strategy to mitigate and slow the spread of the virus, will close the following facilities to the public:

  • The Commons
  • Donner Center
  • Hamilton Community Center and Ice Arena
  • Columbus Gymnastics Center
  • Park Operations Service Center
  • Lincoln Park Softball Diamonds
  • Clifty Park Softball and Baseball Diamonds
  • Blackwell Park Soccer Fields
  • Rocky Ford Par 3 Golf Course
  • Donner Park Tennis Courts
  • Harrison Ridge Park Tennis Courts
  • Lincoln Park Tennis Courts
  • Richards Pickleball Courts
  • Donner Park Pickleball Courts
  • All Playgrounds

These facilities will reopen Friday, May 1. All other Parks and Recreation services and offices, including Greenbelt Golf Course, will remain open to the public and continue to serve the community.

If you or your child is signed up for a Parks and Recreation program that occurs during this time, you will receive a separate communication from a Parks staff member.
We encourage the public to call or email Park staff to conduct business.

For more information or to register for future activities, visit columbusparksandrec.com.

BCCF announces rapid response fund to COVID-19

For over 25 years, the Brown County Community Foundation has provided grant dollars to support vital efforts in our local community. From our earliest days, we have worked together with partners across the community to improve healthcare, to support education, and to advance quality of life efforts. We care deeply for the people of this county, just as those pioneers before us.

It is with this tradition in mind and a sense of responsibility to those who work on the ground every day providing vital even life-saving services that the BCCF has created the Brown County Rapid Response Fund. The BCCF pledges an initial $10,000 to the fund and challenges our community to match this amount through individual giving for a total goal of $20,000.

The goal of the Rapid Response Fund is to expand local capacity by supporting the nonprofits helping individuals and families experiencing hardship because of the outbreak, related closures, and disruptions. The fund will assist local social service agencies, healthcare organizations, food service organizations, and emergency responders to address needs such as personal protective gear, equipment, or supplies; support for communications or public awareness campaigns; and funding for other operational and emergency needs.

This fund will provide grants on a rolling basis and adapt to changing circumstances from acute immediate needs to longer term recovery. Information about the fund can be found at www.browncountygives.org. Donors who wish to contribute can give via the website or by texting TOGETHERBC to 44-321.

The BCCF is also fully prepared to continue to serve, support, and advise our donors and provide grant support to our community, even as it becomes necessary to limit staff presence within our physical office space. Our staff will work to continue to support your philanthropic needs.

Never in our lifetime have we seen this kind of threat, but never in our lifetime have we had an opportunity like this to truly help each other and serve. Give help if you can and ask for help if you are in need. We are all in this together.

For more information contact the Brown County Community Foundation at 812-988-4882 or email Maddison Miller at [email protected]