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Jasper County Launches ‘Healthcheckin’ program

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

NEWTON, Illinois — Jasper County Schools Community Unit School District 1 and Jasper County Health Department, in conjunction with the planned St. Joseph Renewable Fuels renewable “drop in” diesel project, announced today the school district will be one of the first in Illinois to do volunteer student and school COVID-19 testing. The project is part of an innovative “HealthCheckIn” COVID-19 testing program for Jasper County in conjunction with St. Joseph and Lance Capital.

Jasper County Schools represent the largest geographic area of any school district in Illinois, covering more than 450 miles. The district has 1,400 students and 90 teachers.

While the Lake Zurich School District 95 in the Chicago’s suburbs did emergency testing in July because of 36 cases, Jasper County believes this is one of the first pilot programs to do voluntary tests of students, teachers and administrators on an ongoing basis. The mini pilot, opt-in for the “HealthCheckIn” program will be followed by a full-scale pilot and a five-year testing program for over one-fifth of county residents. The “HealthCheckIn” ( technology is a safe and secure app and entry protocol solution that will track, update and convey the real-time COVID-19 health status of all users.


Testing will not be available to the general public.

“Thirty-six people will be tested on a volunteer basis. These include administrators, teachers, students, bus drivers, first responders and other community members,” said Deborah Riddle, RN, BSN, administrator of the Jasper County Health Department. “We will share the data on a daily and weekly basis with other school districts and health departments to help all of Illinois find solutions to this growing COVID-19 problem.”


Jasper County School Superintendent Andy Johnson said, “We are all looking for surefire solutions to making sure our students and staff are safe from coronavirus and this mini-pilot, voluntary program is a great step towards an overall solution to prevent any major outbreaks.”

The Southern Illinoisan newspaper reported that more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on August 18, Jasper County has seen 87 cases and seven deaths, with nearly all of the mortality attributed to a nursing home outbreak in May.

“A regular, voluntary testing protocol for the schools will provide peace of mind for parents while providing positive economic benefits to Jasper County,” Newton Mayor Mark Bolander said.

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