Newton County Courthouse in Kentland

KENTLAND — At a special meeting, the Newton Board of Commissioners voted on some policies regarding employment and the coronavirus.

Commissioner President Kyle Conrad was the only commissioner physically present at the meeting but Mickey Read and Tim Drenth joined him via phone conference, as were EMA Director Ray Chambers and Newton County Public Health Nurse Kim Durham.

The commissioners voted to approve three policies stating that any employee full-time or part-time working from home will be paid, any employee that is required to be quarantined by the county, a medical professional, or showing symptoms will also be paid, and any employee who has left or leaves the state for vacation or leisure will be required to stay home for a 14-day self isolation period. Those employees can use sick days and or vacation time, but if those are not sufficient then the days off will not be paid.

All three policies were approved 3-0 by the commissioners.

Durham reported that coronavirus testing is ramping up in the state with only 13 to 15 percent of those tests coming back as positive. She also reported that four people in Newton County have been tested for Covid 19 with one test result coming back negative for the virus, while the other three are still pending.

Chambers informed the commissioners that he feels the worst is till to come and that Illinois health facilities won’t test Indiana residents for Covid 19, and vice versa Indiana won’t test Illinois residents.