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One of the largest party days of the year is tomorrow. And like all of the other holidays during the pandemic, local health officials are sounding the alarm about large gatherings.

The Dubois County Health Department expressed their concerns in a letter to residents on Wednesday afternoon.

As you all may know, Dubois County currently has one of the highest positivity rates of Covid-19 cases in the state of Indiana, and our Covid-19 deaths continue to rise. Much of the cause of this high rate has been traced to family and social gatherings where wearing masks and practicing social distancing guidelines are not followed.  We also continue to get reports that employees and customers of some businesses are being lax in following the guidelines.

While we believe that most of our citizens are doing their best, it has become apparent that some are outright defying the recommendations. Those who choose to neglect the recommendations are demonstrating a lack of understanding of how the virus spreads or worse, a lack of caring for their fellow citizens. The cavalier attitude of some is causing fear and concern for many others.

We have been doing our best to keep businesses open in our county; however, we have issued both “Cease and Desist” and “Closure” orders in the past few weeks for those who continue to violate Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order. We will continue to issue these orders as necessary.

The last thing that we want to do is go back to an earlier phase of shut down, such as closing businesses and eliminating social gatherings altogether. We urge everyone (restaurants, recreational facilities, businesses, churches, families, individuals, etc.) to help in this fight and keep our county strong and healthy. Our county is not imposing new laws. We are following state orders and appealing to people’s common sense and decency. Please do the right thing. 

As everyone plans for the New Year’s holiday, we are once again asking for everyone to do your absolute best to implement the following practices:

  1. CDC continues to recommend postponing travel.
  2. Keep social gatherings to an absolute minimum, preferably with those individuals who are already within your social bubble (household contacts). No social gathering shall exceed 25 individuals (see EO 20-50).
  3. Wear a mask over your mouth and nose and stay at least 6 feet away from others when you are with individuals outside your social bubble. Wear your mask properly.
  4. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  5. Wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face.
  6. Consider hosting virtual celebrations with family and friends.

All of us here at the Dubois County Health Department wants to wish everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. We look forward to serving the community’s needs in 2021.

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