Goshen sees COVID outbreak among city employees

NOW: Goshen sees COVID outbreak among city employees

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GOSHEN, Ind. - Goshen is surrounded by hard areas that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Elkhart County has some of the highest numbers in all of Michiana, and directly east, LaGrange is still a designated "Red" county because of its high COVID-19 numbers. Goshen not only has some hard-hit neighbors, it itself is now having to face the pandemic head-on. One of the city's COVID task forces said Friday that several of the city's employees are in quarantine because of either testing positive or being exposed.

"We have employees throughout almost all the departments that do have positive tests of COVID," said Goshen Assistant Fire Chief Anthony Powell who is also on that COVID task force.

Powell said the task force is exploring different options of how to keep city departments functioning with so many staff unavailable.

"We've discussed that," Powell said. "What we're looking at right now is possibly taking our staff down right now so that if we do have that exposure, we can backfill with the staff that are off."

Some Goshen community members said they are afraid staff shortages could force some departments to shut down.

"We need law enforcement," said Rhiannon Davis who lives in Goshen. "What if there's a fire and the firemen are sick from COVID? What are we going to do?"

There is at least one person who said he believes the city will get things figured out. Ed Hhatfild frequently visits Goshen and said even if a department or two have to shut down, the city will keep functioning.

"The city should be able to get by with some shutdown," Hhatfild said. "There will still be some places open to survive. I'm sure people can survive."

The City of Goshen is already making moves to help curb numbers back down. All city offices have been closed to the public outside of appointments only.

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