Northern family encourages COVID precautions

Family picture with all wearing masks

Pictured: Hillary and Jonathan Goff with their three children: Adrianne, 12, Genevieve, 5, and Emelyn, 3.                   


After her entire family came down with COVID-19, Northern State University’s Hillary Goff is encouraging people to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Be smart,” said Goff, NSU assistant director of athletic business operations. “Listen to the professionals; social distance; wash your hands; wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible; avoid large crowds; and if you aren’t feeling well, stay home.”

Goff and her husband, Jonathan, as well as their three children, Adrianne, 12; Genevieve, 5; and Emelyn, 3, all got sick from the virus about a month ago.

Their symptoms varied. Though she had no fever, Hillary had the other classic symptoms body aches; migraines; cough; sensitivity to light; and loss of appetite, smell and taste. Jonathan had fever, chills, migraines, body aches, cough and shortness of breath. Adrianne had fever, body aches, migraines, fatigue, and loss of taste and smell. Genevieve had a fever for a day. Emelyn also had a fever for a day, but had cough, shortness of breath and fatigue as well.

Hillary said she and her husband were hit the hardest, with their symptoms more severe than the kids and lasting 10-12 days.

“Our oldest had milder symptoms than us, but lasted over a week. Genevieve was feeling better after a few days,” she said. “Emelyn felt better – but then her respiratory issues flared up a few days after she was feeling better.”

Throughout the ordeal, Goff said a lot of co-workers from Northern called with offers to bring food/meals to their family.

“Dr. Downs reached out every few days to check up on my family and progress,” she said.

For the most part, the Goffs are fully recovered – though Hillary, who tested positive on July 29, said she still does not have her sense of taste or smell back, and working out has been difficult. 

Now, her hope is that others take the virus seriously.

“You never know how it will affect you or your loved ones,” Goff said. “Please take all the precautions you can to protect yourself, your family, all of campus and the entire community.”

For the latest updates and resources for students, faculty and staff, visit the NSU COVID-19 webpage.