County makes mask changes for those vaccinated


People fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will be able to go into county buildings without wearing a mask.

The Dubois County Commissioners changed its policy to such Monday morning.

Those who are fully vaccinated are allowed to go into county-owned facilities without wearing a mask. Those who are not fully vaccinated are advised to keep wearing a mask. This will also apply to county employees, the commissioners said.

Commissioner Nick Hostetter said that policy needed to be changed now, “especially since the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance has changed. Of course, if they still want to wear it, they’re welcomed to.”

Commissioner Chad Blessinger also agreed to let those who are vaccinated to come into buildings without wearing a mask.

Auditor Sandy Morton mentioned that they’re giving out about 100 masks each day at county facilities. “Right now, we're going through a lot of masks because people are not bringing them in,” she said.

Hostetter also felt that the temperature kiosk should be removed and put in storage. “I’ve said since day one that just having a temperature doesn't mean you have COVID. Not having one doesn't mean you don't have COVID,” he said. “It really isn't doing anything to begin with.”

Commissioner Elmer Brames agreed with removing the kiosk, but he wasn’t as sure about the mask changes. “I'm as ready as anybody to to move on past that," he said. "I'm just wondering whether everybody else is ready to move on."

The commissioners recognized that there would be some challenges in the change. “If you're fully vaccinated and somebody else lies and says, ‘Yeah, I'm fully vaccinated’ and takes theirs off, you're still covered because you're vaccinated,” Hostetter said. “You have nothing to worry about. But if you choose to continue wearing your mask, there's no shame in that. It's perfectly OK.”

Brames suggested that those not vaccinated still be required, not just advised, to wear a mask, though officials will not necessarily know if someone is or isn’t vaccinated. “In reality, we're not going to be able to make that determination anyway,” Brames said. “But it sets the tone. We are still concerned.”

The commissioners also:

• Gave the courts permission to look into replacing the courtroom recording equipment, since the current equipment is old and outdated.

• Approved plans to add artwork to more dumpsters at the Ireland recycling site. That work will be done on June 16, said Craig Greulich, who added that it will be called Garbage Gallery.

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