Escambia County Government: Safest or Most Dangerous Place to Work

Late yesterday afternoon, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan shared with Inweekly that he has a total of 38 Escambia County Sheriff’s Office personnel under 14-day self-quarantine–21 sworn officers and 17 support personnel.

None have been identified by testing positive for COVID-19, but Sheriff Morgan last week began taking the action to self-quarantine personnel for the safety of his agency and for the public whom the ECSO serves and protects.

“These are quarantines due to recent contact from cruises, NY travel, Gainesville FL, Miami, etc.,” said Sheriff Morgan. “We are still holding our own.”

The sheriff has asked his employees to self-report their travel and contacts. Next week, he expects several to report to duty after they complete the 14-day self-quarantine.

Inweekly asked Commissioner Lumon May how many of the county government’s 1,994 employees has the county administrator and human resources director sent home for 14-day self-quarantine based on their travel and contacts with family member and others that have traveled to highly infected areas or on cruises. He said that County Administrator Gilley told him only one county employee has been in self-quarantine.

According to the 2019-20 county budget, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has 693 positions – so 5.5% are in self-quarantine. Ms. Gilley has only one person.

Inweekly has reports of county employees that have traveled to Jamaica, been on cruises and visited New Orleans for weekend getaways.

Escambia County Government is either the most hygienic, cleanest and virus-free place to work in Florida or its the most dangerous for its employees.

HR directors in the private sector of Escambia County have taken the spread of COVID-19 seriously by tracking where their staff has traveled. Many local companies and law firms have people in 14-day self-quarantines.

Repeat: Escambia County government only has one person under a 14-day self-quarantine.

At Commissioner Jeff Bergosh’s Coffee with the Commissioner yesterday morning, County Administrator Gilley ended her opening remarks with:

“What I would say is please stay calm, stay clean, and stay healthy, and know that your county government is still working on your behalf and your commissioners are as well.”

Unfortunately, Ms. Gilley and her HR director’s actions don’t match up with her words. If she isn’t taking the COVID-19 seriously and protecting her employees and the public they serve, then who will?


 

DOH reported at 6 p.m. EDT yesterday that Escambia County has 17 positive COVID-19 cases – up four from Wednesday and up 13 from last Thursday. And hundreds of test results –some samples taken as early as March 14–have yet to be returned.

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