March 29, 2020

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home : local news : local news

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Coronavirus has big impact from coast to coast

By Barbara E. Allender

SUMNER - The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. United States President Donald Trump addressed the nation on March 11 to issue measures "to protect the American people." He has since been proactive with press conferences involving administrators and health care professionals to keep all informed.

Initially, to keep new cases from arising, all travel from Europe was to be suspended Friday, March 13 at midnight and adjusted, subject to conditions on the ground. Trade and cargo restrictions were not to apply to the United Kingdom. Restrictions will be reevaluated later for a possible early opening.

Health insurance industry leaders agreed to waive co-payments for treatments and to extend insurance coverage to prevent billing surprises. A funding bill for $8.3 billion for CDC to fight the virus was introduced.

Guidance was also issued for school closures and reducing large gatherings.

Trump asked Congress to take legislative action to aid workers who are ill or caring for others, as well as legislative action to extend relief.

The small business administration will provide economic low interest loans with a $50 billion budget increase. Immediate payroll tax relief was also announced.

The chain of events has evolved into many states mandating closures and limited gatherings for avoidance of exposure. Early Friday, March 13, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered public schools to close starting Tuesday, March 17, and remain closed through March 30. He has also ordered the cancellation of public events that draw more than 1,000 people. And the Illinois General Assembly has said it will not reconvene until at least March 24.

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, has recommended that for the next eight weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

The vast majority which are high risk is low. However, the elderly population especially with underlying health conditions are top concern. Nursing homes have suspended non-medical visits.

Some of the area events and businesses which have closed or limited operations during the Coronavirus quarantine include:


• In Sumner, "The Shack" will be open only to carry-out customers.

• "Dairy Dee" is a walk-up/Drive-thru food and ice cream specialty shop which opened last week with business as usual.

-Take note that the Press will be printing menu specials for those businesses in the county who will be offering curbside and carry-out service. See back page.


The Illinois Gaming Board ordered all 10 casinos in the state to suspend operations for 14 days starting Monday. Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter said in a letter sent to the casinos that before the end of the 14-day period he would review the public health situation and decide whether the suspension of operations should be extended.


The closing of some churches is on an individual basis. Please check our listings for further information.


As of Tuesday, all Second Judicial Circuit Courts of Illinois were open to limited proceedings. Adult and Juvenile Probation, Juvenile Detention, and crucial court services continued. The Courthouse was limited to entry via the handicap area on the lower level. Those who might be feeling any symptoms of illness were encouraged to contact the Circuit Clerk and advise them of the situation if summoned for jury service or other cases which require attendance.


Effective on Wednesday, the Sumner City Hall will be operating under a closed door policy. Payments may be left at the drop box located outside City Hall or at People's State Bank. In case of an emergency, the water department may be reached at 618-936-2415.


Lawrence County Memorial Hospital went under lockdown on Tuesday, March 17. There will be limited entry to the hospital for all patients at the hospital main entrance from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. or the emergency room into the hospital unless under special circumstances. All patients will be screened before entering the hospital. Visiting will be discontinued until further notice and business meetings will be held on hospital property and Dietary Services (the cafeteria) will be closed to the general public until further notice.


• The Indiana Military Museum decided to cancel their WWI event that was scheduled for March 21 & 22nd, 2020. It is the hope that it will be rescheduled; but no date has been set at this time.

• The DAR recognition event (scheduled for Monday, March 16) to honor Flossie Price and Lucinda Melton Porter was cancelled. The article in last week's Sumner Press incorrectly stated that Price was an LPN. She is a Registered Nurse who had worked in the healthcare profession for 25 years.

• Red Hill Community Unit School District #10 will NOT be conducting its annual Kindergarten Pre-registration the week of March 23-27, 2020. This registration is open to children living in the Red Hill Unit #10 District. Children must be five years of age by September 1, 2020 to register.

• The Indiana Military Museum, 715 S 6th Street, Vincennes Indiana will be closed to the public starting on Thursday March 19, 2020 until further notice.

• Kite Day, originally scheduled for Saturday, March 28, in Vincennes, IN has been cancelled. It is not known yet if it will be rescheduled. To keep up to date on the current park status and information please visit us at or on Facebook at

• Sixth Annual URCHOICE dinner cancelled for Saturday, April 25.

• Old Town Players' production of "Godspell", scheduled to open April 17th, has been cancelled. Rehearsals and any and all preparations for this show are cancelled effective immediately. It is hoped that OTP will be able to present the show at a future date.

At this time, "The Beverly Hillbillies" will be presented in June as scheduled unless future developments necessitate changes. Any pre-sale tickets purchased at our participating partners can be used for "The Beverly Hillbillies".

Activities and news regarding Old Town Players is available at or on the facebook page, Old Town Players. Questions can be directed to

• The presentation of the Lawrence County Arts Council's "Legally Blonde," which was planned for March 13-15 and 20-21 has been delayed.


The Lawrence County Senior Citizens Centers are closed to the public. However, meals will be available for pickup and delivery. See the menu on the page of the Press today.


On Monday, Red Hills State Park was closed to all traffic.


Students in Red Hill Unit 10 and Lawrenceville Unit 20 School Districts were dismissed after a full day of attendance on Monday. Classes will resume March 31.

Free "Grab and Go" lunches will still be available to any students that are 18 and under. Meals will be distributed at Bridgeport Grade School and Sumner Attendance Center starting March 18th, 2020 through March 30th, 2020. Bridgeport Grade School and Sumner Attendance Center will serve lunch starting at 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. In order to have an accurate lunch count, all parents or students are asked to call daily 618-945-2061 and press 4 by 9:00 a.m. Lunch menus will be posted on the Red Hill Facebook page, website, and local media outlets.

If you plan to pick-up your lunch at Bridgeport Grade School, you will enter through the Northeast entrance and wait at the North BGS doors under the awning. After deliver you will exit through the West bus lane to the Southwest drive (Washington Street). If you plan to pick-up your lunch at Sumner Attendance Center, you will need to turn on Locust Street and drive onto the blacktop play ground. The sack lunch will be delivered through the East door off the cafeteria. After delivery you will drive through the bus lane toward the post office. Cones will be set up to help with the flow of traffic. If you have any questions, please call any of the Red Hill CUSD #10 schools or district office.

• Illinois Eastern Community Colleges (Robinson, Mt. Carmel, Olney, and Fairfield) have received word that members of the Great Rivers Athletic Conference can expect interruption of spring competition. It is unclear whether this is cancellation or suspension.

Effective immediately, IECC is cancelling all non-competitive college-related travel until April 3. This decision will be re-evaluated weekly. Anyone with travel plans that are affected by this decision should speak with your college president or district administration.


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