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Allen County Municipalities Coordinate Coronavirus Fight

Rebecca Green
Northeast Indiana Public Radio/WBOI

Allen County government and health officials are offering recommendations -- not requirements -- in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the Northeast Indiana community.

While no COVID-19 cases have been officially recorded in Allen County, it remains possible -- and according to health officials, likely -- the virus will make an appearance in the coming weeks or months.
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry hosted the meeting in his office Friday afternoon. He said he wants residents to focus on two things:
“First, don’t panic. We have faced these types of challenges before; we’ve been able to get through them safely and we will again. Second, practice social distancing. It’s been recommended six feet be that distance.”
And again, social distancing is a recommended practice, but not a required one.
Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters called COVID-19 a “moving target,” but that steps like social distancing should help the community’s reaction to the virus.
He also said it’s a good time for local businesses to be proactive with their policies.
“Employee guidelines have to be reviewed by companies throughout Allen County to ensure the most appropriate response one, to the employees but two, to the various constituencies that they serve.”
Peters encouraged workers experiencing symptoms to “get the heck out” of the office and isolate themselves, and to self-quarantine if necessary.
New Haven Mayor Steve McMichael echoed Henry and Peters, and assured Northeast Indiana residents that their governments will continue to be proactive.
“Your city will be there for you, whether it’s the City of Fort Wayne or the other communities of Allen County.”
McMichael, Peters and Henry collectively announced limitations on city and county staff, like out-of-state travel restrictions while promoting remote work when possible. All three expressed optimism that, if these recommendations are met in addition to vigilant hygiene practices, the local transmission of COVID-19 will remain minimal.
The situation has been described many times by officials as “fluid,” meaning residents should be prepared for additional information at any time.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.
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