Keeping near-constant tabs on COVID-19 infection rates is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of the disease. This monitoring can only be accomplished through testing and that’s exactly what St. Joseph Renewable Fuels LLC, along with Jasper County Schools Community Unit School District 1 and Jasper County Health Department, is offering Jasper County, Illinois. This joint effort is part of the “HealthCheckIn” initiative that is also being supported by Lance Capital. Together, these firms are bringing coronavirus testing opportunities to volunteers who want to help keep transmission rates down.
St. Joseph Renewable Fuels LLC recognizes the significant role it plays in the Jasper County community. This primarily includes plans for a $400 million renewable diesel plant that would bring eco-conscious jobs to the city of Newton in Jasper County. In pre- and post-pandemic times, a large employer like St. Joseph Renewable Fuels LLC will give places like Newton an economic advantage in the state and region. For now, the general public needs to ride out the remainder of the coronavirus and stay healthy for the better days ahead.
The specifics of the “HealthCheckIn” plan are centered around the Jasper County Schools district. Comprised of more than 1,400 students and 90 teachers and covering some 450 miles, this large pool of people represents a great opportunity. The volunteer-only testing will target everyone from administration to bus drivers and students themselves. The results of the regular testing will be shared by the Jasper County Health Department with other nearby school districts and health departments to keep a running tab on infection rates. The ongoing “HealthCheckIn” effort is a pilot program of sorts; those spearheading the effort expect it to turn into a five-year testing program that will monitor the status of all participants.
These may sound like lofty goals, but St. Joseph Renewable Fuels LLC sees them as essential steps toward recovery. There is already evidence that progress made can easily slip back if efforts are reduced. According to a previous report by The Southern Illinoisan newspaper, Aug. 18, 2020 saw more than 100 new cases of the coronavirus reported. At that time, seven people in Jasper County had died and 87 infections had already been documented. St. Joseph Renewable Fuels LLC has met the people of Jasper County and its plans for the community will prove to be a huge boost. In fact, Newton Mayor Mark Bolander has called “a project of this size … a ‘game changer’ for the community and this region.” St. Joseph Renewable Fuels LLC plans to see it through to fruition but until then, the successful roll-out of “HealthCheckIn” will be crucial.