Emergency declared in Cass County amid surge in COVID-19 cases


CASS COUNTY, Ind. – Cass County officials declared a state of emergency Monday.

The order went into effect at 12 p.m. Officials made the announcement during a joint press conference that included Cass County commissioners and officials from Logansport, the Cass County Health Department and Logansport Memorial Hospital.

On Tuesday, the Cass County Health Department reported 1,283 total confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Local officials are concerned the number will increase once test results are in from the Tyson Foods plant in Logansport, which closed temporarily after dozens of workers tested positive. The plant employs more than 2,100 people.

Logansport Mayor Chris Martin signed the executive order. County commissioners said all of Cass County would follow the same guidelines.

“It is not our intent to make things difficult,” said Dr. Ralph Anderson, president of the county commissioners. “It is not our intent to go around arresting people, fining people. It’s up to you to do your job. You are the ones that will end this crisis.

“You do your due diligence. You don’t go where you don’t need to go. You don’t take your family with you—one person can do the shopping. One person can take care of the essential needs. One person can take care of their elderly fathers, grandfathers, people like me. But we have to practice social distancing.”

The guidelines:

  • One person per family will be allowed inside shopping markets and other essential businesses.
  • Everyone is asked to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth when entering a business. Businesses may stop customers who aren’t wearing masks from coming inside.
  • Children under 16 years old are not allowed inside businesses.
  • No more than 2 people per 1,000 square feet of retail space are permitted at one time in an establishment. This number is capped at 125 people for businesses with more than 62,000 square feet of space.
  • An establishment with less than 2,000 square feet of retail space can allow up to five customers inside at once.
  • Businesses that have an outside cash station and an inside cash station can be treated as two businesses.
  • Drive-thru, curbside pickup and delivery food services will still be allowed.
  • A person who knowingly intentionally, or recklessly violates the executive order commits a class B misdemeanor under Indiana code.
  • An increased law enforcement presence will monitor and help enforce the order.
  • Elderly and high-risk residents are strongly encouraged to avoid public gatherings and minimize travel.

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