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July 9, 2020

5/6/2020 2:12:00 PM
Special meeting called to discuss county reopening
Jennings County Commissioners will hold a special meeting via video-conferencing at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, as a follow-up to an April 30 special meeting in which they voted to extend the local stay-at-home orders through May 7.

The measure was taken as an announcement was expected on Monday from Gov. Eric J. Holcomb regarding his plans for reopening portions of the state.

One exception was giving the green light to County Highway Department Supervisor Jim Reeves to put his road crews back to work on May 4.

The commissioners will again via Zoom at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 7, to discuss further policy changes. To join the meeting, contact Nicci Lucas at nlucas@jenningscounty-in.gov.

"I'd hate to change the way we're doing things and then the governor announce a different plan than ours," said Commissioner Matt Sporleder, president.

When reporting in on Monday, Reeve said county road workers would be advised on social-distancing restrictions, such as only one person per vehicle, disinfecting vehicles daily, and avoiding taking lunch and other breaks together, Reeves said.

"I think that's a good idea," said county health nurse Pam Petry.

The commissioners discussed whether to conduct a deep-cleaning at the government center, which is expected to reopen to the public at 8 a.m. Monday, May 11, and the courthouse, which is to open May 18.

Petry advised Sporleder that a deep-cleaning before opening would be unnecessary, because the virus dies on plastic and hard surfaces within 72 hours. Additional cleaning, and possibly deep-cleaning won't be necessary until after the buildings reopen, she said.

Sporleder said the county will likely hire additional part-time personnel to help keep surfaces wiped down throughout the week.

Feedback from the county's department heads indicate a need for the purchase of hand-sanitizer and cleaning supplies, so that CDC guidelines for hand-washing and disinfecting door handles and other surfaces throughout the pandemic.

Sporleder directed all staff to document all COVID-19-related expenditures, so the county will be ready to apply for any grants offered to help with those costs.

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