Fort Wayne and Allen County agencies and event organizers issued a flurry of cancellation notices or event changes beginning Nov. 17 and 18. Some specifically mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerating case count and government precautions.
On Nov. 18, most counties in the northeast corner of the state were designated with a red color code. Counties are designated red, the worst rating representing very high spread of the virus, if they exceed a per-capita new case rate of 200 cases per 100,000 residents in the past week and exceed 15% positivity in testing.
The Allen County Department of Health said, “That means effective Nov. 22, any social gathering or event expecting between 26-100 people must be approved by our department and no events of more than 100 people will be permitted; bars, restaurants and fitness centers must operate at 50% capacity; food establishments should also be closed to indoor service between 12-5a.m. And remember, these will remain in effect until the county shifts to a less-restrictive color for two consecutive weeks.”
For specifics on Allen County restrictions, see the attached order from the county health commissioner.
The Allen County Department of Health will continue to provide various services to the public over the phone, through the mail and online during the closure of its downtown offices. The closure of Citizens Square to the public took effect Nov. 23. The city’s current plans are to reopen the building Jan. 19. This change does not currently impact the Allen County Department of Health’s Medical Annex, 4813 New Haven Ave. Clinics at the annex are still operating by appointment during normal business hours.
The following changes will be made to public services provided by the health department at the downtown location starting Nov. 23:
Pollution Control: large septic system plans too difficult to mail can be dropped off at the Barr Street entrance at Citizens Square. Call 260-449-7530 to inform the department what time they will be dropped off.
All other documents/payments will need to be submitted by mail. Forms can be found at www.allencountyhealth.com/get-licensed.
Phase I Environmental reports: the $25 fee will be waived for the search and report generation of records for all requestors. Reports will be e-mailed back to the requestor. Forms can be found at: www.allencountyhealth.com/get-records/phase-1-environmental-records/ Call 260-449-7459 for questions regarding Phase I Environmental reports.
Food and Consumer Services: All food and tattoo permits must be submitted by mail. Forms can be found at www.allencountyhealth.com/get-licensed/. Floor plans for new/remodeled establishments may be submitted by e-mail or mail.
All previously scheduled meetings have been canceled until further notice.
Call 260-449-7562 with any additional questions regarding Food & Consumer Services.
All birth and death records requests must be made via mail or online through VitalChek Network (VitalChek’s link is available through the link below). Forms can be downloaded at www.allencountyhealth.com/get-records/certified-birth-and-death-records/ and mailed to: Vital Records Office, 200 E. Berry St., Suite 360, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.
All paternity affidavit meetings are postponed until further notice.
Call 260-449-7147 with any additional questions regarding Vital Records.
Other Public Records Requests
Anyone requesting to view public records in person at Citizens Square will have to wait until the building reopens. Public records requests can still be made by submitting a form via mail, fax or e-mail. The Public Records Request form can be downloaded at www.allencountyhealth.com/get-records/public-records and e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 260-449-3010 or submitted by mail to Allen County Department of Health, 200 E. Berry St., Suite 360, Fort Wayne, IN, 46802.
Among the other closure announcements:
• All 11 WorkOne Northeast career centers will transition indefinitely to appointment-only services, effective Nov. 23. As part of the heightened safety measures, in-person group workshops will also be canceled. Virtual workshops will continue to be scheduled in partnership with the Allen County Public Library. To make a WorkOne Northeast appointment, call the center closest to you. Those numbers can be found at https://neinworks.org/workone-locations/.
• The City of Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission offices will be closed to the public starting Nov. 23, with plans to reopen Jan. 19. They will continue to process inquiries through their website and via telephone. If you would like to file a charge of discrimination call their office at 260-427-1146 or visit their website at www.fortwaynemetro.org/contact-us/general-inquiries.html.
• The city of New Haven Holiday Homecoming festivities scheduled for Nov. 27 have been canceled. The holiday decorating contest will continue.
• A public swearing-in ceremony for newly elected officials will not take place in 2020.
• City of Fort Wayne’s offices will be closed to the public beginning Nov. 23 with a projected reopening date of Jan. 19.
• Citilink will not provide free fares on Saturdays between Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, and Christmas, Dec. 25, this year.
• The Marine Corps League Detachment 1435 Pride and Purpose monthly pancake breakfast scheduled for Nov. 21 at VFW Post 857 has been canceled. The VFW Post 857 is closed until further notice for thorough cleaning.
• Brightpoint is adjusting its operations in response to guidance from officials. Until further notice, the main office at 227 E. Washington Blvd. in Fort Wayne is closed to the public. Those seeking assistance can explore option at mybrightpoint.org.
• Fort Wayne Community Schools announced that the five public high schools will switch to remote learning temporarily. The decision follows similar announcements by the Southwest Allen County, Northwest Allen County and East Allen County public school districts.
• Fort Wayne Sport Club canceled holiday decorating, its Christmas social and children’s Christmas party.
• A New Haven Chamber of Commerce Meet Me @ 5 scheduled for Nov. 19 at Lopshire Florists in Fort Wayne was canceled, and will be rescheduled, possibly in the spring.