There is an outcry from union employees throughout the building that more protections are needed.By Nicole Ford

BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) – Beaver County reported its highest single-day total of coronavirus cases Wednesday.

Now there is concern from county employees as more cases are being reported inside the courthouse.

“Beaver County is seeing an uptick in cases not only in the community, but here at the courthouse. Right now, we have 35 individuals who have tested positive and are currently positive,” said commissioner Dan Camp.

Add in 63 more county employees who are quarantined or awaiting results and there are almost 100 employees unable to work.

“The sheriff’s department definitely was the largest department here in the courthouse. We are still able to function with the limited number of sheriffs we have available,” Camp said.

As those cases continue to rise and more county offices shut down, does it become a public safety issue?

“We’ve looked into contracting security guards and have contingency plans,” Camp said.

Camp told KDKA that he’s hopeful it won’t get to that point, but only time will tell. Meanwhile, there is an outcry from union employees throughout the building that more protections are needed.

“You are not going to have enough folks to work the courthouse anyway. Any concern they have that we must keep the courthouse open is a great political statement. But eventually, you won’t have folks to do that. Folks can’t work there on a ventilator. Folks can’t work at the courthouse if they are dead,” said union representative Al Smith.

County leaders said everyone who can work remotely is, and officials advised department heads to stagger shifts for less congested workspaces.

Smith said there needs to be more consistency to prevent further outbreaks.

“At least have a plan in place, sit down with us, explain to the employees what the plan is, why it’s being implemented and why that’s the best they can do,” Smith said.

Camp said the county does have plans in place with the department heads.