Jasper's Mayor Warns Residents We Could Go Back to Restrictions if County's COVID Numbers Don't Improve


JASPER -- Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide continues to plead with residents to take steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Dubois County.

His comments come just a day after state health officials placed the county under a CODE RED designation, based on our seven-day positivity rate, which currently stands at over 16%.

"We've got to take it seriously," Vonderheide responded when I asked him for a response to the increase in local cases.  "I think people have become a little more lax , especially when they're away from work."

The mayor says they can't pinpoint a single business contributing to the higher numbers.  Instead, it appears to be spreading through social events and get-togethers.

"What we have observed and heard from our employers in the area is that we don't have a bunch of employees from one [business] that are getting it and they're out [of work], other than maybe the long term care facilities.  What they're doing, in their social life, they're putting themselves at risk, then they're exposed.  They may not feel sick, or ill, but they're passing it on to others and, that's the part we can control."

And Mr. Vonderheide added, if resident's don't step up, the impact could be significant.   "If we do not do the right things and socially distance, wear a mask around others and sanitizing, and our numbers continue to climb, there's the opportunity to drift back into the [shutdown] phases, which could impact our economy.  It could impact local businesses.  We don't need that."   

Health officials reported 49 new cases of COVID-19 in Dubois County Wednesday.  It brings our total to 1,723 since the start of the pandemic.  Our death toll stands at 28.