Elkhart leaders respond to Coronavirus case spike in virtual town hall
ELKHART, Ind.- The New York Times recently listed Elkhart, Indiana as one of the most vulnerable city's in America to a second outbreak of COVID-19. The publication lists data that shows Elkhart's case count doubling less than every two weeks. Wednesday night, City leaders held a virtual town hall to answer questions about and discuss the city's response to the recent spike in cases.
Mayor Rod Roberson, Police Chief Chris Snyder and EMS Chief Kristi Sommer all took questions from the public and the press.
Mayor Roberson said the Indiana re-opening has made Elkhart stand out.
"With the system opening up and the numbers going up, Elkhart County is actually an outlier for the rest of the state," Roberson said.
Among the possible plans for Elkhart to combat the rising new cases was a mandatory face mask order, but Mayor Roberson said that would be a "nightmare to enforce" because the city only has 140 police officers compared to 52,000 residents.
Another idea was putting Elkhart on a different schedule than Governor Eric Holcomb's Back on Track Indiana plan.
"I do know if they say we can have over 100 people now at a gathering that the county could make those restrictions harder," Sommer said.
City Police Chief Chris Snyder said businesses will have to take their own precautions and that he is proud of the ambition of Elkhart community members.
"That's where a lot of the increase in positive tests started showing up," Snyder said. "So, I think it's great that our community is coming together and saying as an industry 'we want this, and we are going to implement a strict procedure when we come back to work.'"
Mayor Roberson said the city plans to continue having these virtual town halls to answer questions about the Coronavirus in Elkhart.