“I do not want anyone to panic…” – Jana Still, HR director
Escambia County Administrator Janice Gilley is trying to keep the lid on the boiling pot of COVID among her employees. Her no-mask-necessary attitude isn’t keeping the virus out of her departments.
Sources have shared that Animal Shelter has its first case, and another employee is in quarantine. Two are waiting for their test results. We have been told that last week no one in the shelter was wearing face coverings. Now everyone is.
The odd thing is Animal Shelter popped up in yesterday’s COVID-19 update.
The public wasn’t told about the infection. No, we were told, “Our top priority is to provide daily care for the animals already in our care and those incoming from Animal Control. All interactions with the Animal Shelter will be by appointment only. The staff will determine each day how many appointments will be available and what time they will begin.”
You can hear the steam escaping from Gilley’s pot and sizzling on the burner.
Since Monday, we have heard that Jana Still, director of Human Resources, is positive for COVID-19. Last night, we received the email she sent out announcing she believes that she is infected.
According to her email, it’s the second infection in her department – the July 2 Inweekly received showed no problems in HR.
“I do not want anyone to panic, but I do need to advise that we have had a fellow employee test positive for COVID-19,”wrote Still, “and though I have not received my official results back, it is very likely that I have it as well.”
She explained her case: “It is believed that I contracted it last weekend when I went to seek medical treatment for my ear infections so I have not been back in the office since I likely contracted it and I will not return to the office until I’m no longer symptomatic.”
From: Jana E. Still <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, July 5, 2020 9:05 PM
To: BCC Human Resources <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Mark D. Bartlett <email@example.com>; Carrie A. Seals <CASEALS@myescambia.com>; Michele Mobley <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Ernest W. Baum <EWBAUM@myescambia.com>; Rufus Smith III <RSMITH@myescambia.com>
I hope everyone was able to enjoy the holiday weekend and is staying well.
I am still not well and will likely not be in the office this week. I will be working from home and can still be reached by email or phone.
I do not want anyone to panic, but I do need to advise that we have had a fellow employee test positive for COVID-19 and though I have not received my official results back, it is very likely that I have it as well. It is believed that I contracted it last weekend when I went to seek medical treatment for my ear infections so I have not been back in the office since I likely contracted it and I will not return to the office until I’m no longer symptomatic.
I know these are uncertain times and I want to ensure everyone feels safe and comfortable at work. We are having more and more employees test positive for COVID-19. Due to this, many questions have arisen and establishing a protocol that everyone is aware of is something we have done.
Below are the instructions that were sent to all the department directors. I just wanted y’all be to be aware of what they are being told to do in case y’all encounter questions from others. We will also follow these as well.
At this time, if an employee tests positive, they need to remain home. If the employee is symptomatic then they should remain at home until they go 3 days with no fever, their respiratory symptoms have improved, and it’s been 10 days since symptoms first appeared. If an employee has tested positive but is not and has not had any symptoms, then they can return to work 10 days after they test. These are consistent with the CDCs recommendations on when to discontinue isolation.
For those employees who were around an employee who tested positive, it is encouraged that they get tested and monitor themselves for any symptoms. If they experience any symptoms, they are to stay home until they meet the criteria for someone who was symptomatic to discontinue isolation (listed above). If they do not have symptoms, they can come to work but should isolate themselves from others as much as possible as well as ensure they maintain a distance of at least 6 feet and wear a mask when interacting with others. They should continue to self monitor for symptoms.
If an employee who has been around an employee who has tested positive can work from home then they should be given the option to do so. If they are going to work from home, please be sure they have enough work to do and that they sign the Remote Work Agreement and submit their daily work logs.
Of course in every situation any healthcare provider’s recommendations should be followed, so if an employee has recommendations from a healthcare provider to isolate for longer than what is listed above then they should do so.
Facilities is still doing extra cleanings, but we should all do our part in ensuring we are disinfecting our areas and being diligent about PPE. While it is not required, it is strongly encouraged that employees wear masks since this can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
There may still be special circumstances that arise and we will address those as they come. Additional information and protocols will be forthcoming.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at anytime.