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Omicron could affect Bethel's hauled water services

A City of Bethel water delivery truck.
Gabby Salgado
/
KYUK
The city manager said that for the next few weeks, or for as long as omicron surges in Bethel, he expects workers could call in sick with COVID-19.

Hauled city water and sewer services in Bethel are a little slower than normal right now due to non-COVID-19-related staff shortages. That’s been going on for the past few weeks. The city manager expects that omicron is about to make these delays a lot worse.

According to Bethel City Manager Pete Williams, the water and sewer crew is understaffed, and there have been a few absences in recent days. Williams said that those absences haven’t been due to water and sewer workers getting sick with COVID-19, but he said that he’s preparing for that to change soon.

“We are expecting this latest variant to raise some havoc. I'm kind of looking at keeping my fingers crossed for the next two or three weeks here,” said Williams.

Williams said that for the next few weeks, or for as long as omicron surges in Bethel, he expects workers could call in sick with COVID-19. He suggests that in the meantime, residents conserve their water as best they can. He said that if people completely run out of water, they can fill up jugs at the Bethel Heights Water Treatment Facility.

Williams said that he’s trying to mitigate the omicron surge by reminding city workers to wear their masks.

Williams said that there are COVID-19-related absences in other departments, like in the utility maintenance department, but he said that those effects haven’t been felt by residents yet.

Olivia Ebertz is a News Reporter for KYUK. She also works as a documentary filmmaker. She enjoys learning languages, making carbs, and watching movies.
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