Downtown Warsaw businesses were given an update Wednesday on the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic during a teleconference.

“As far as things we should be doing and things we shouldn’t be doing, I think it can be summed up by saying they’re just trying to keep as many people as they can home just for a week or two so we can break the chain of this virus. It’s how you’re doing it,” said Bob Weaver, Kosciusko County Health Department administrator, noting people in this country won’t be arrested for going out on the street.

He said the health department is trying to keep the county’s long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, supplied with the medical supplies they need.

“And that is a tough thing,” Weaver said. “In some instances, we can’t do it. What we get from the state, we divide equally among the nursing homes in the county. Last week, we made deliveries to each one.”

Weaver said some of the supplies the health department is looking for includes medical masks, surgical gowns, face shields and eye shields, noting he spends a lot of time trying to track down medical masks.

He said the stay-at-home order the governor gave Monday was good and as many people as possible need to stay home.

“We do not have confirmation of anyone who has coronavirus, but to think it’s not here would be foolish,” Weaver said, as many times the virus can have mild symptoms and people may not realize they have it and end up spreading the disease.

Weaver said in time the county will have cases of the coronavirus because, at the beginning of this week, testing has ramped up at Parkview Warsaw and Kosciusko Community Hospital.

“We’re doing a lot more tests than in the previous weeks,” he said. “And with one of those, I think we’re going to have our first (confirmation). And I think it’s going to be sometime soon.”

Mayor Joe Thallemer said while he doesn’t wish it, he’d be surprised if the county doesn’t get a case soon, noting the community is taking the situation seriously.

Weaver said he doesn’t think it’s anything to be fearful about as it may be out there, but not everyone is getting tested.

“And that’s the way it should be. Unless you’re really sick, you don’t need to get a test,” he said. All emergency rooms have test kits, but there’s criteria of who is tested as there’s not enough kits to test everyone.

Thallemer said he thinks the health department can give advice to people if they have symptoms, they can drill down on the cases and advise people if they should go to their doctor’s office or somewhere else.

“I know the last thing that they want them to do is go to the hospital,” because that’s where the spread could occur. “I think it would be safe to call the health department and have them triage the situation,” Thallemer said.

Weaver suggested possibly going to the hospital, but calling beforehand.

Thallemer gave an update on the city of Warsaw’s operations during the stay-at-home order.

He said the city is working as a skeleton crew as nonessential employees are working from home during the two weeks during the stay-at-home order. It officially ends at 11:59 p.m. April 6, but Thallemer said he thinks the governor is taking the stay-at-home order two weeks at a time and will be re-evaluated before April 6.

Thallemer said his philosophy is to keep the lights on if a business has a service that it needs to provide, suggesting working with a skeleton crew, staggering shifts and practicing social distancing and washing hands. He also noted the police and fire departments are trying to stagger shifts, so “if there is an exposure, they don’t expose a large group.”

“All businesses are different,” Thallemer said, noting there’s a lot of uncertainty “out there.”

He said the city is not going to go look for businesses that shouldn’t be open.

“We’re not really going to be enforcing anything really, to be honest with you,” Thallemer said. If there’s a large crowd, the worst thing that is going to happen is people will be asked to go home. Thallemer said there aren’t going to be arrests.

“Officially, (violating the stay-at-home order) is considered a misdemeanor,” but Thallemer said he thinks a lot of the order’s language is to enforce how important staying at home is.