All Jennings County government and North Vernon City government offices are closed to the public. Staffs are working, so call if you need assistance. The Town of Vernon is enacting prevention measures - All Vernon facilities, including the gym will be closed to the general public until further notice. The office will remain open to be contacted by phone. Restaurants and bars are closing via Gov. Holcomb's order. Take-out and delivery are still available.
Jennings County now has three diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Indiana Department of Health reported Wednesday.
We thought it would be useful to explain the two technical terms that prompted Gov. Eric Holcomb this week to order the closing of all nonessential businesses in the state and asked people to do "social distancing."
Social distancing is when people voluntarily keep their distance from other people to avoid catching a disease. It also involves good hygiene practices (see sidebar).
Flattening the curve is delaying the onset of disease and thus conserving the use of equipment that is in limited supply. It's keeping the medical need for ventilators, medical supplies and personnel low enough to meet demand for them in your area.
Social distancing is practiced to delay the development of new cases. By delaying new cases, it prevents a state or region from having too many cases at once in areas at a time where there may not be enough lifesaving equipment and health care workers.
COVID-19 is a contagious disease. A person infected with it will typically infect roughly four additional people. COVID-19 is more infectious than the flu and results in death more frequently than does the flu. COVID-19 spreads by a healthy person's hands coming into contact with a surface or object with the active virus on it or by being close enough to an infected person (within about six feet) to receive the infected person's respiratory droplets sent into the air by their coughing or sneezing. People on airplanes, in concerts, movie theaters, crowded restaurants, stores and sporting events are usually within six feet of other people. Some of these people may be unknowingly infected.
Once we had the kids in school, found the grocery store and the park, it was time for me to meet some new friends. At least I hoped they'd be my friend. I was off to meet maybe the one person who knows almost everything that happens in a small, southern Indiana town - the editor of the local newspaper.
The coronavirus threat may have caused Jennings County Schools to be closed until May 1, but it did not stop a slew of volunteers from preparing and then distributing 34,000 meals for the county's children last week.
The coronavirus has taken its toll not only on local small businesses but on some of the county's premier industries as well.
March 26 will be no ordinary paper day at the North Vernon Plain Dealer & Sun. This momentous day will mark the end of an era, for after that newspaper is put to bed, members of our community will no longer see the tall form of our esteemed editor-in-chief Bryce Mayer puttering around local events, camera in hand. The very next day, Friday, March 27 will be Bryce's last day of leading the news gathering team at the local paper.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Indiana small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Prepared-ness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Eric J. Holcomb on March 17, 2020.
The start of spring and summer youth sports leagues is being delayed at the North Vernon City Park by the coronavirus crisis, but Chad Speer is hopeful that modified seasons can still be played in soccer, baseball and softball.
Jennings County Historical Society volunteers Bill Gerhard, left, and Chris Asher process sassafras roots there were harvested by Matt Branham. The Society still has tentative plans to go ahead with the annual Sassafras Tea Festival in Vernon April 25 and 26, and is also considering other options because of the coronavirus pandemic.-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer