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Logansport, Cass Co. Tighten Restrictions As COVID-19 Cases Surpass 1,000

Cass County COVID

Officials from the City of Logansport, Cass County Board of Commissioners, County Health Department and Logansport Memorial Hospital spoke at a news conference on Monday. County Commissioners President Dr. Ralph Anderson and Logansport Mayor Chris Martin sit to the left. (Logansport Community School Corporation)

Logansport and Cass County officials have approved an order that tightens restrictions on businesses to try to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the county, after declaring a public health emergency today.

READ MORE: Indiana Meat Plant Closing After Workers Contract Virus

Last week, the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Logansport announced it was temporarily shutting down after more than 140 employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Today, the largely rural county reported 1,025 confirmed cases of the disease – third most in the state.

“All individuals and high-risk populations, including the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions, are strongly encouraged to avoid all public gatherings and to minimize all travel to the maximum extent possible,” Logansport Mayor Chris Martin says.

County Commissioners President Dr. Ralph Anderson says the Board of Commissioners is adopting an ordinance extending the policies to the county.

The order goes into effect Monday and says:

  • Only one person per family is allowed into essential businesses.
  • Essential businesses can allow no more than two customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space. If a business has more than 62,000 square feet, a maximum number of 125 customers are allowed. If a business has fewer than 2,000 square feet, five customers are allowed at a time.
  • Nobody under the age of 16 is allowed inside essential businesses.
  • All those entering businesses should wear facemasks. Anderson says those who do not may be asked to leave.

According to Martin, “A person who knowingly, intentionally or recklessly violates this executive order commits a Class B misdemeanor under Indiana Code.”

Martin’s executive order does not change any orders already in place.

Logansport Memorial Hospital CEO Perry Gay says staff and administrators have been preparing for weeks for a surge like this one, but the large bump in confirmed cases could still overwhelm the hospital.

“With this surge in positive cases and the numbers we are seeing – if we just saw five to 10 percent of those positive cases needing critical care, we would be overwhelmed,” he says. “Our hospital is not equipped with enough staff or resources to care for numbers like this.”

If Logansport Memorial does become overwhelmed, those with injuries or illnesses other than COVID-19 could end up getting transferred to hospitals in surrounding counties.

The order also calls for increased law enforcement presence.

“It’s not our intent to go around arresting people, fining people,” Dr. Anderson says. “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.”

Martin says the executive order will continue “until further notice.”

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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