Frequently Asked Questions

General

The following individuals may request a certified birth certificate copy: the mother, the father, a sibling, a grandparent, a spouse of the individual or the person born shown in the record. Birth certificates may be obtained in person at our office with proof of identification. Certificate mail requests can be forwarded to the Lake County Health Department, 2900 W. 93rd Avenue, Crown Point, Indiana 46307 and must included the birth name, date of birth, city of birth, parent(s) name(s), copy of identification card, self-addressed stamped return envelope and $10.00 (cash or money order) for each copy requested. Our office does not have birth records for individuals born in Gary or East Chicago. Birth certificates can not be issued for deceased individuals.

In person at our office you must provide proof of association with deceased, your personal
identification (drivers license or State identification card) and $11.00 (cash or money order)
for each certified copy requested. By mail you must send a request to Lake County Health
Department, 2900 W. 93rd Avenue, Crown Point, Indiana 46307. Include name of
deceased, date of death, city where death occurred, your association with the deceased,
copy of your personal identification (drivers license or State identification card) $11.00 (cash
or money order) for each certified copy requested and a self-addressed stamped return
envelope.

If the results are for your own personal use, contact a licensed laboratory that is certified to conduct drinking water analys is. If the testing is required for a property selling I buying transaction, contact our Environmental Division at 219-755-3655.

Programs are provided by the Health Educator in schools concerning AIDS, dental care, puberty education, hygiene, nutrition, eating disorders, hand washing and teacher in-services. By request, the Health Educator participates in public health fairs.

Any individual or business selling food in Lake County (except within the corporate limits of the City of Gary or the City of East Chicago) is required to obtain a permit from our Department before beginning operation. Contact our office at 219-755-3655, request to speak with our Food Division to obtain the appropriate applicat ion and details.

Contact a licensed Lake County On-Site Waste Water System (septic) Installer for an evaluation of the suspected malfunction. All modifications and or repairs to a septic system must receive an approval (permit) from our office prior to installation.

If not married - mother and father need to be present together at our office with proof of
identification, $15.00 for application processing and $10.00 for each amended certified
birth certificate copy requested. Paternity applicants must be present together in our office
before 3:00 PM during our normal office hours.


If married - mother and father need to be present together at our office with proof of
identification, a marriage license, $15.00 for application processing and $10.00 for each
amended certified birth certificate copy requested. Paternity applicants must be present
together in our office before 3:00 PM during our normal office hours. Mother should
have her last name changed on her identification card prior to submitting a paternity affidavit.
DNA testing results, completed for joint legal custody, must be submitted to our office within
60 days of the child's birth.

Court Orders establish ing paternity submitted to our office must have original signatures and
a raised seal from the Court on the document.


A paternity can only be established for individuals under the age of 18 years.

COVID-19

There is no FDA approved antibody test available in the United States. When an antibody test is approved, we will work with the Indiana State Department of Health to make it available in Lake County.

Lake County receives its national stock pile of emergency supplies, which is distributed to local nursing homes, home health agencies, dialysis centers, police officers and non-hospital employee physicians.

Everyone’s requirements are different, and we determine how to prioritize based on various levels of immediate need and the availability of our supplies. Lake County hospitals receive their own supplies directly from the Indiana State Department of Health in a separate process.

Nurses are fielding and making 400-plus phone calls daily — either by answering COVID-19 questions from the public or calling out to track active and potential cases.

The nurses are also tracking all positive cases and their recent contacts to advise quarantine precautions.

The emergency preparedness team is attending risk management meetings and making sure that emergency supplies reach the departments in need of them.

The county’s food safety department is still inspecting operating drive-thru restaurants and eateries with takeout to keep the food safety. The health department is working in conjunction with the infectious disease divisions of the hospitals, she said.

Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year. Limit gatherings to people living in the household. If you are having guests to your home, be sure that people are wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart.

Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. A limited supply of the approved vaccines are currently being administered to health care personnel that have direct patient contact and at long-term care facilities. The ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) has developed an allocation prioritization list dependent on individual risk factors. When vaccine is available (tentatively mid-January) the Lake County Health Department along with other partners will start vaccinating community members based on CDC/ACIP recommendations. Further infonnation on vaccination locations and times will be posted on the Lake County Health Department's website and other multi-media sources when this information becomes available.

  1. Please visit https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine/index.htm for more information. 
  2. The Lake County Health Department is seeking volunteers to assist with vaccinating and registering at vaccination sites. Please contact Sandy Smoljan at smoljsl@lakecountyin.org
Social distancing means avoiding close contact with others in order to reduce risk of spreading COVID-19. This includes trying to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others, avoiding social gatherings, avoiding nonessential travel, and practicing hygiene like frequent hand washing and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

Isolation is for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation means staying home and separating from others in the household by staying in a separate bedroom and using a separate bathroom, if possible. Isolation is discontinued after 72 hours without symptoms and at least 7 days since the onset of symptoms.

A close contact is a person who was either within 6 feet of a person confirmed to have COVID-19 for about 10 minutes or more, or had close physical contact with a confirmed case. Close physical contact includes hugging, touching, sharing household items like eating utensils, or being around a sick person coughing.

  1. If you or a member of your family has been in close contact (within 6 feet for of more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, even if you are wearing a mask to lower your risk of infection) with someone who has COVID-19, you should quarantine. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others and monitor their health. You should also quarantine if you provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19, had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them), shared eating or drinking utensils or if someone you know with COVID-19 sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you. If you are symptomatic or waiting for a test result, you and other members of your household should quarantine. b. Quarantine can end after 10 days if the person has not developed any symptoms. A test is not required. 
  2. Quarantine can end after seven days if the person tests negative for COVID-19 on day five, six or seven of the quarantine and has not developed any symptoms.

The LCHD Health Officer and staff are working in coordination with the Indiana State Department of Health and infectious disease specialists in local hospitals to closely follow and implement CDC recommendations for the protection of the local community. We are also readying our emergency preparedness team and coordinating with various government and non government agencies.

     *   Nurses and support staff are calling all people who are confirmed COVID-19 positive in order to advise self-quarantine and isolation precautions. Nurses are also contacting their high risk close contacts. Positive individuals are advised to inform all of their close contacts of their risk and advise self-quarantine. Due to the high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lake County, our nurses are no longer able to contact all close contacts, but are still contacting those close contacts who are high risk. For more information about who is high risk, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html

     *   The food safety division inspectors are inspecting take-out and drive-through restaurants to ensure adherence to all food safety guidelines. Inspectors also respond to complaints regarding any sit-down restaurants that still operate. Those restaurants will be closed down as sit-down service is in violation of the Governor’s order.

     *   The environmental safety division inspectors are investigating non-essential businesses still operating in Lake County. If it is a clear violation of the Governor’s order, then they can be shut down. As the Governor’s order is updated often and open to interpretation regarding essential businesses, we will work with our legal department for clarification and our legal department will follow up.

     *   Our emergency preparedness directors work in close contact with the District 1 emergency preparedness team, hospitals, and all local emergency teams. POD (point of distribution) sites are located in various parts of Lake County in case of medication or vaccination distribution or other emergency needs. At this time, there is no COVID-19 vaccination.

     *   Vital records (birth and death certificates) are currently processed by mail.

     *   The LCHD receives a supply of PPE (personal protective equipment) from the National Stockpile via the Indiana State Department of Health and distributes it to necessary departments and individuals according to the guidelines. Hospitals, local nursing homes, dialysis centers, home health agencies, police, and physicians who are not employed by a hospital can request PPE including masks, gowns, face shields, and gloves. PPE will be distributed depending on LCHD availability.

Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions like lung or heart disease or diabetes are at higher risk of developing more serious complications from COVID-19 and should seek care as soon as symptoms arrive, Vavilala said.

Go to the ER if you have difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or disorientation, and/or bluish lips or face, and call your primary care physician if you exhibit other concerning symptoms, she added.

Please call the ER ahead of your arrival to receive the correct instructions to ensure your medical safety as well as that of the hospital staff.

It's important for everyone to follow a schedule, even at home, in order to maintain some structure. Try to avoid excessive screen time. It’s OK to watch or read the news to stay updated on the current situation, but avoid watching it all day because doing so can cause undue stress and anxiety.

Call family and friends often and FaceTime or Skype if possible. Stay active by exercising regularly and maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Make sure to enrich your schedule with activities you enjoy or projects you might be passionate about, and clearly communicate with those you share a residence with during an extended period of isolation/quarantine. If you have a psychiatrist or therapist, please contact them for further instructions.

  1. COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a new Coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. People with COVID-19 sometimes have a cough, fever, feel like it's hard to breathe, or even lose their sense of taste or smell. Other symptoms include congestion or runny nose, diarrhea, headache, nausea or vomiting, muscle pain or fatigue, sore throat or chills. Symptoms range from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after exposure. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. 
  2. Hospitals are nearing capacity due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases. Emergency rooms are being forced to bypass patients in some cases due to the lack of bed availability in hospitals.

The spread of the COVID-19 virus must be taken seriously by all members of the community due to its aggressive nature and severe medical consequences. It is vital that each and every one of us follow the advice of health care professionals, health departments and medical institutions. Even if someone only experiences mild symptoms, they may infect high-risk individuals, such as the elderly or immunocompromised persons, whose conditions could become fatal.

We are all responsible for protecting our personal health as well as the health of our fellow community members and should do everything possible to reduce the spread of this infection.

Use disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces, and if wipes are not available, diluted bleach.

Clothes should be washed daily with soap and water, but if you are unable to wash clothes daily, they should be placed in a laundry bag and tied and left in a separate bathroom used by the person with symptoms.

A bleach solution can be prepared by mixing 1/3 cup of bleach per one gallon of water or four teaspoons bleach per quart of water.

People with pre-existing conditions should make sure to take their prescribed medications regularly, receive medications by mail and avoid the pharmacy in-person when possible. They should stay active in the house, exercise or be active outdoors if the weather permits. Vavilala said it's OK to postpone regular checkups if the person doesn’t have any active health concerns

No, a negative test is not required. However, at least 10 days should have passed since the symptoms first appeared, and at least 24 hours since the last fever without the use of fever­ reducing medications and COVID-19 symptoms have improved to end the isolation.

The LCHD is accessible by phone weekdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The building is closed to the public. We receive a large number of calls daily and are doing our best to answer them. If you’re unable to reach us quickly, please be patient.

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