County Commission President Matias issues statement

La Porte County Commission President Sheila  Matias has issued the following statement:

Dear La Porte County community:

Life has changed for all of us over the last few weeks. We are facing a situation that is new and full of uncertainty. Our daily routines have been upended- and even the simple act of shaking hands or going out to eat is no longer simple. We are facing challenging times; we feel anxious and concerned for our family, for our neighbors, our valued first responders, our health care heroes and our community.

Now is the time to pull together. We are fortunate that our current count in Indiana is lower than many other states, but the reality is that the numbers across the country are growing. Now is the time for each of us to do what we can do to limit the advance of this virus in our county. Together as a community, we need to respond with sensible precautions for our families and concern for our neighbors. To do this, we need your help.

As testing becomes more available in our county, positive test results seem likely to occur if our county follows the pattern occurring across our country. With your help, we can help slow the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Limiting community spread by “social distancing”, that is, staying apart whenever possible, is the tool each of us can use to reduce the danger to our community. What we do now in this moment matters.

Your leaders have been meeting, making decisions, strategizing, and fine-tuning our emergency response plans for weeks now; state and federal officials are taking steps to slow the spread of the virus in order to protect our most vulnerable populations. We have amazing people across this county who are working tirelessly on your behalf ; we are so appreciative for our first responders, 911 Dispatch, IT, Emergency Management, health department, law enforcement, teams at our schools and governmental units, health care workers-the list goes on and on.

Now, we need your help.

Here’s how you can be an active part of our community response:

• Important! Stay home if you’re not feeling well. This is critical for your own health and for everyone else in this community. Exercise good old-fashioned common sense. Stay home when you are sick!

• Limit your exposure and your family’s exposure. Avoid all non-essential travel and avoid any nonessential gatherings.

• Stay home as much as you can. Please continue to work with your employer and colleagues at work to safely get through this challenging time.

• Stay informed. Go to for information, and updates. If community members wish to post important information, please send to

• Increase your hygiene practices. It really works. Two clear examples: “Social distancing” (keeping 6 feet between yourself and others); handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds/sanitizing

• Go to the grocery store when necessary and stay apart from others. Wash your hands well before you go and after you return. If you have an elderly or ill neighbor, shop for them and leave the groceries outside their door. Buy what you need but leave some for your neighbors. Grocery stores and pharmacies continue to be restocked.

•The elderly and medically fragile should ask a friend or family member to shop for them. Please stay home if you are older or have a compromised immune system.

• Call your doctor if you feel sick. Do not go to the emergency room if you think you have symptoms. A phone call to a doctor is the first step.

If you would like to help further, consider donating to a local food pantry, the United Way, Salvation Army, Unity Foundation and other non-profits who are stepping up to serve and are needed now more than ever. Please go to the county web site for information on where you can donate.

Parents: You have stepped up to become your child’s teacher and you have our heartfelt admiration. Here are some learning sites which may be helpful:

Younger people: You can get this virus. The data is clear that while the virus may not be fatal to a younger person, you can become ill or you can transmit the virus to a person who is vulnerable like your grandmother or your parents. Please listen. This is not life as usual and you are not invincible.

As a county of communities large and small, we are at our best during challenging times. We know how to work together, to do what is required of us and to look out for one another. Communities across our beautiful county rally together to support our boys and girls in their efforts to win games on the court or on the field – and it’s that same incredible community spirit that is needed in this fight against Covid-19. There is no need to panic but there is a need to be smart.

Let’s take care of ourselves-get some exercise, take in some fresh air in solitude, read a book, enjoy a nap or finish up a project. Lonely? Pick up the phone and call a friend, reconnect with a relative by text, email, phone or Facetime, be a pen pal to your grandkids, dig out those old board games or try a new recipe.

This is the time to show grace as much—and as often–as we are able. We need you to be safe so that everyone can be safe.

Thank you for your kindness and your efforts. We’re in this together. We need each other now more than ever.

Stay well. Be healthy.

8 Responses to “County Commission President Matias issues statement”

  1. CW

    Mar 21. 2020

    Thank you! This is beautifully and well written and oh so true! God bless you for taking the time to write this. May everyone follow your great advice. May God bless us all and end this pandemic real soon.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Calvin

    Mar 21. 2020

    The headline should read, “Much too late with way too little.” The commissioners’ and county councils’ lack of leadership during this pandemic has been nothing short of anemic and totally unprepared for the situation and lacking the necessary leadership to bring us through it.

    You want an example of extremely proactive leadership, look no further than Governor Holcomb, Mayor Dermody, the city council, the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, Salvation Army, Nate Loucks, La Porte Hospital, La Porte Community School Corp, Meals on Wheels, and many others who took the bull by the horns and “did something.” This, with no previously existing crisis management plans. Sure, they may make a few mistakes along their way out of this, but at least they are trying to help our community.

    Air Force fighter pilots use the acronym “OODA,” Observe, Organize, Decide and Act when in dogfights; make life saving decisions in the heat of battle. Well, we are in the heat of battle and the mayor and others in the community have been supremely proactive in helping our citizens work through this unprecedented shock to our nation, state and community. They are not afraid to fight from the front unlike county leadership. Need I mention the County Health Department? Where have they been? When I’ve asked the question of how the Health Department is going to assist, the answer is, “go to their website.” Yeah, right, try and surf your way through the County’s poor excuse of a website that is old and totally outdated. Where is their leadership in this, above all, HEALTH CRISIS? Plus, we have a medical doctor as a commissioner. Where is he in this crisis?

    Commissioner Shelia Matias’s letter is nothing more than, as I said above, “Much too late with way too little.” Time to bring real leadership to the county at the next election. We deserve enlightened leadership instead of the ostriches currently occupying their offices and still getting a paycheck at our expense. So disappointing.

    You deserve better La Porte County, much better.

    Reply to this comment
    • Karl Jackson LP city employee

      Mar 21. 2020

      For real Calvin? No time for political agendas, how about sticking together, then do a debriefing at the end on what we all could have done better, after we win this battle. Find the good in people, good things are in all people.

      Reply to this comment
    • Walmart Worker

      Mar 21. 2020

      Please think twice about going to the stores! It may sound like a better place than sitting at home, but it’s not. Go when you have to go..with list in hand. The stores can’t keep up with demand (I have never seen such demand) so people are now coming from other cities just to shop. Remember the 6 ft rule!!!

      Reply to this comment
  3. Ron Brauer

    Mar 21. 2020

    Again, thank you for these words of guidance. Yes, we will get through this as together we practice the good hygiene and social distancing measures you offered. Keep encouraging us as a community leader. That is one thing we are blessed to receive!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Karl Jackson LP city employee

    Mar 21. 2020

    And being disrespectful is something I didn’t allow my kids to be towards others while raising them, your letter is just that towards county officials who put themselves out there to to try to make a difference in life.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Debra

    Mar 22. 2020

    God help us all ! After reading all that God help us all !

    Reply to this comment
  6. Andrew Serafin

    Mar 22. 2020

    Calvin. You nailed it. Sheila thinks that government i the answer where most often they are the problem

    Reply to this comment

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