The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 12:04 pm

Verbatim: City of Fort Wayne and Allen County leaders provide update on community's response to COVID-19

The following was released on Tuesday, March 23, 2020:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Local government, public safety, and health leaders today came together to provide an update on the community's response to COVID-19. 

Participants included Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Allen County Commissioners Rich Beck, Therese Brown, and Nelson Peters, Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed, Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux, Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan, and Jay Fawver, MD, Parkview Behavioral Health Institute. 

With more cases of COVID-19 being confirmed in Allen County, leaders today continued to stress the importance of practicing social distancing, washing hands thoroughly and regularly, using hand sanitizer often, and limiting activities in group settings. The public is reminded to be vigilant and use good judgment as a result of Governor Holcomb's stay-at-home order announced yesterday. 

Highlights of the response to the pandemic:

-Police officers and firefighters continue to serve and protect residents, neighborhoods, and businesses with 464 Fort Wayne police officers and 16 in training, 356 Fort Wayne firefighters, 133 Allen County Sheriff's officers, and the volunteer Allen County fire departments. 

-911 services and 311 services continue to operate as normal. 

-All protocols, policies, and contingencies are in place to respond to all possible scenarios. 

-Water filtration plant operation, water pollution control (wastewater) plant operation, water and sewer maintenance field operations, street department functions, garbage and recycling collection, and finance are operating at full capacity to serve the public and those services continue. 

The public is encouraged to visit where a community resource page has been created that contains information about COVID-19, local government responses and other organizations that serve the public and how collectively there is help available to those who may need assistance.


Allen County to Operate Only “Essential Services”

Action taken to comply with governor’s executive order

(March 24, 2020) — The Allen County Board of Commissioners announced today that all departments under their authority will begin operating with only essential personnel needed to continue essential government functions beginning at midnight tonight in response to the COVID19 coronavirus outbreak.

In addition, the commissioners have strongly recommended that other county elected officials and departments not under their authority also limit staff to essential personnel only.

Today’s announcement coincides with the stay-at-home executive order issued by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb Monday. The county policy will remain in effect until April 6, unless the governor extends his order.

“The governor’s order underscores the need for our community to continue utilizing collaboration and common sense,” the commissioners said. “We have already become stronger during this trying time and if we continue the incredible collaboration, we will emerge a better, much stronger Allen County.”

Employees not labeled as essential will be placed on Public Health Leave as part of the county's COVID-19 Employee and Operations Policy. Some non-essential personnel may be asked to work intermittently from home between March 25 and April 6 to perform essential government functions. If asked, they will earn their regular rate of pay for documented time spent performing essential government functions.

In addition, all county operations in the Rousseau Centre will be closed to the public starting tonight at midnight. Fort Wayne Police Department records windows will still be accessible. The Allen County Courthouse, Courthouse Annex, Bud Meeks Justice Center and Criminal Division.

Services will be open on a limited basis. Consult the Court’s web site,, for information on what proceedings will continue during the emergency.

There are a number of county services which can be conducted online. A full listing is available through the county’s website at

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