garage sales

Elkhart County health officials are urging residents to skip the garage sales this season in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

ELKHART — A local COVID-19 information line is up and running, and the Elkhart County Department of Health and the Department of Emergency Management on Wednesday were urging residents not to have garage sales.

The live Elkhart County COVID-19 Information Line is an information-only resource, a statement from the agencies said, and paperwork needed for testing for coronovirus will not be provided.

The phone number is 574-523-2106.

Due to the limited number of calls, the agencies have decided to change the hours of the call line. Volunteers will handle calls from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The agency also urged residents not to hold or attend garage sales.

“During this time of self-quarantining, we know that you are cleaning out your homes,” the statement said. “Please do not hold garage/estate sales at this time. There are several reasons, but first and foremost, this does not allow for social distancing, which can increase the spread of COVID-19.”

The departments reminded residents that the best way to protect themselves from any respiratory illness, including COVID-19, is to:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 percent or higher alcohol.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Practice social distancing of 6 feet or greater (no group functions such as book clubs, meetings or congregations of 10 or more)

Stay home unless you need to go somewhere.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and then wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Residents were urged to track updates on Facebook at Elkhart County Health Department Health Education Division, www.facebook.com/healtheducation.echd, www.elkhartcountyhealth.org, or go to the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.isdh.in.gov/ coronavirus.

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