County shares more details on its reopening


Information from local officials about how the community and businesses should slowly reopen will be distributed Wednesday.

As for county business, county employees are due to return to county buildings today. But the buildings will remain closed to the general public until Monday.

All of this was discussed at the Dubois County Commissioners meeting Monday morning.

“I want to support and encourage all who can support local businesses as they reopen in an effort to keep Dubois County commerce thriving,” Commissioners President Chad Blessinger said.

Officials from the county and the communities within the county have been meeting with chamber of commerce, business and health officials as the Reopen Dubois County Task Force. The task force has created a packet of information called “Together We Thrive,” which will be distributed Wednesday, Shawn Werner of the Dubois County Health Department said at the commissioners meeting. The packet gives guidelines and suggestions for the community and for businesses as things reopen. It will also include a sticker that businesses can display to let the public know that they are following the local recommendations.

Blessinger said the public is getting a lot of information from the state on the five-phase plan for reopening the economy, of which phase two started Monday. So hearing from local officials for some clarity of how things will proceed locally will be helpful, he explained.

“I think this will be more meaningful for local people,” he said, “because it is created by local people, for local people. And it has local resources in it.”

Commissioners Nick Hostetter and Elmer Brames both agreed that giving out local information is helpful and needed for the public.

“We need people to understand that this is not over,” Brames said. “There is a path back. I think this [packet] goes a long way to say that.”

County employees are returning to their offices today. And all are required to wear a mask if they are within 6 feet of another person.

There will be some employees who will be allowed to continue working from home, such as those who are over age 65 and those with complicated medical conditions. If a department wants others to stay home, that request can be made to the commissioners through Blessinger.

The county health department will open for appointments only on Thursday and Friday, as somewhat of a trial run, Blessinger said. The doors themselves will still be locked.

When facilities open to the public on Monday, everyone coming in will also be required to wear a mask. Those who do not have a mask will be given one.

Temperatures will not be taken of everyone coming in. “That is not practical to do,” Hostetter said. “But requiring masks protects our employees.”

People who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, cough and shortness of breath — are asked to not come into the county buildings.

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