COVID continues to spread in county government

Collin Warren-Hicks of the PNJ reports the jail now has 119 inmates that have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus – a jump of 36 inmates since only Friday.  The positivity rate is 73%.

Escambia County Jail continued to climb over the weekend as another 36 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus since Friday.

Escambia County spokeswoman Laura Coale told the daily newspaper that 163 total inmates had been tested for the virus as of Monday – only 43 tested negative and one was still awaiting results.

According to the county’s staff COVID-19 snapshot, corrections now has 31 employees that have tested positive, and another 44 are awaiting test results. County Commission Chair Steven Barry has asked County Administrator Janice Gilley to test all jail employees. The corrections department has 574 employees.  Gilley has another 405 employees to go.

The snapshot report no longer shows how many employees in each department that are in quarantine or working at home. The dates given for when test results are expected range from July 13 for Library Services and Dispatch to July 18 for Fire and EMS.  The July 9 report gave the same date for Fire and EMS — 10 days?

Since the HR director Jana Stills notified her staff that she had COVID, two more department heads have tested positive. Overall, the county has 10 more infected employees since Thursday, June 9.

However, Gilley still refuses to require employees to wear face masks or mandate the public wear them inside county facilities. Nothing has been done to make COVID testing available for employees at the county’s clinic.

The city of Pensacola has required masks since April.



3 thoughts on “COVID continues to spread in county government

  1. Listening to the budget workshop. It is unbelievable how many new directors and deputy directors are being lauded by Gilley’s administration in their “major accomplishments” lists for each department. Including the new Deputy Director of transit they probably paid for by firing Mike Lowery.

    During the Public Safety portion, with Escambia County on fire with covid, Doug led the hard-asking questions on smoke detectors.

  2. Before I was unjustly terminated for exposing needed policy measures since the Pandemic Crisis Emergency State began in March. I came to work everyday and pushed my fellow coworkers / Union members at ECAT to wear masks, wear gloves, to also practice social distancing not only on the buses but in the County buildings and to wash their hands often throughout the day.

    It’s not rocket science. Leadership leads by example. Mandate the masks. Create break rooms with social distancing. Direct employees who don’t follow the rules. Administrator Gilley and some Commissioners need to lead by example. This virus isn’t a political issue. It’s a public health issue. One employee who contracted the virus said to me. He never experienced anything like it. To simply quote him. “I was a non-believer and then both my wife and I tested positive. I wouldn’t wish this virus and the terrible things we both went through on my worst enemy.”

    Time to mask up BOCC!

  3. And so this morning we’ll get the pointless and health-risking dog and pony show of a budget workshop that won’t mean a hill of beans in a couple of weeks.

    During which Gilley will position the covid that she has recklessly denied as the reason for all her self-victimizing woes.

    And staff will hear, officially, what they’ve recognized since long before covid came along: Janice’s real priority is her bloated and destructive bureaucracy. (What are we up to in administration now, 16 people?)

    The taxpayers could have saved a whole lot of money and grief, and gotten the same results, by wishing the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man on ourselves.

    Thank you for your continued diligence in reporting this tragic hot mess, Rick. Add to your above account that, even beyond Lanza’s shameful lie about people not emitting the virus after “8 or 9” days, County staff who have tested positive for covid aren’t even quarantining for that long.

    How could they? It takes an army of foot soldiers to prop up a Banana Republic autocrat.

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