Most government facilities requiring masks again

Christine Stephenson/The Herald
Jasper City Hall is displaying signs on its front door to notify visitors that it is requiring masks again for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Because of its seven-day all test positivity rate, the county was moved into the red COVID-19 advisory level Wednesday, the state’s highest COVID-19 level.


Dubois County moved into the COVID-19 red advisory level Wednesday, and local government is acting accordingly.

The City of Jasper announced Wednesday afternoon that masks are required again when entering facilities owned by the city, regardless of vaccination status. This policy will be in place until further notice and will likely continue until the county moves back into the orange advisory level.

However, City Hall and other departments will remain open and city meetings will continue in person. Those who wish to observe Jasper city meetings online can do so by clicking the Zoom link attached to each meeting notice on the city’s website. The public is also encouraged to use the drive-thru at City Hall when possible.

The city is choosing to keep its facilities open because most city employees’ work is unable to be performed remotely, according to a Wednesday press release.

The Town of Ferdinand also announced it is reinstating its mask requirement at Town Hall, regardless of vaccination status. The Town Hall will remain open to the public but patrons are encouraged to use the drive-thru window when possible. The town’s utility complex will be closed to the public except for scheduled appointments.

Shelter houses and the Senior Citizen’s Center will still be rented out, but gatherings will be limited to 25 people or fewer with masks and social distancing required.

“We encourage persons to continue social distancing practices, limiting personal contact where possible, maintain good hand hygiene by washing and sanitizing your hands frequently, and to please stay home if you do not feel well,” a Thursday Ferdinand press release said.

The Ferdinand Town Council, which had previously been hosting its meetings at the Ferdinand Community Center to encourage social distancing, just moved its meetings back to the Town Hall this week.

The City of Huntingburg is also now requiring masks in all city facilities.

“It’s a situation where we want to protect our people inside City Hall and not knowing if people have been vaccinated or haven’t been vaccinated and whether it works or not,” Huntingburg Mayor Steve Schwinghamer said.

Huntingburg City Hall also has a drive-thru available for those who don’t want to enter the building, but it isn’t required as of this time, Schwinghamer said.

County facilities were not requiring masks as of Thursday afternoon but may in the near future.

No city facilities are requiring proof of vaccination to enter as of now. Before the county returned to the red advisory level, city facilities only required masks for those who were unvaccinated.

The county hasn’t been in the red advisory level since late winter. Orange, Spencer and Warrick counties are also in the red advisory level, and Pike, Martin, Daviess, Perry and Crawford counties are in the orange advisory level.

The Indiana State Department of Health announced in late July that it would be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead in recommending that everyone aged 2 and older wear a mask in public, indoor settings. Shawn Werner, the Dubois County Health Department’s administrative director, said earlier this month that the county department would follow what the state department and CDC recommend.

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