Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Three City Employees Test Positive For COVID-19

The City is aware of three City employees who have tested positive for COVID-19. All three are employees at the Public Works Operations Facility located at 1950 East Continental Boulevard.

City leadership is working with state and local agencies to support the protection of the City’s employees and public health. In response to the outbreak, City Manager Shana Yelverton has closed down the Public Works Operations building.

“We were notified last night and this morning of two additional positive tests for employees who worked out of the same location,” said City Manager Yelverton. “Our main concern is for our employees. The next steps include testing essential employees who have been working at the facility.”

Since mid-March, the City has been following COVID-19 CDC guidelines as well as work from home guidelines at this facility and others. Any employee that may have felt sick was sent home to limit interaction with others.

The first employee to test positive is a field employee and had no public interaction. The City was notified about the two subsequent cases in the past two days. Both employees had not been to work since mid-March and had no public interaction before then.

Essential Public Works Operations employees who worked out of the building will be reassigned to work out of other facilities while the building is cleaned. They will not come back to work until they have been tested for COVID-19, cleared for work, and have been reintroduced to the workplace with the guidance of the Tarrant County Public Health Department. The building will re-open in approximately two weeks.

Public and Employee Protection Steps

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the City has taken numerous steps to protect its employees and the public, including:

  • The closing all public buildings as of March 19 until April 30,
  • Reducing the size of crews working together,
  • Cleaning of Public Works trucks and equipment after the first employee positive and after any employee who felt sick was sent home,
  • Implementation of good housekeeping practices suggested by the CDC,
  • Close to 150 City employees telecommuting from home, per stay at home orders,
  • Mandatory employee temperature monitoring for all essential employees who report to City facilities,
  • Face to face meetings with City contractors and partners have been canceled, Employees are using conference calls and other means of communication when necessary,
  • Daily cleaning of City workspaces,
  • All City deliveries are left outside at the front door, then brought into buildings and disinfected.

“These steps have been a part of our comprehensive effort to flatten the curve and limit our employees’ exposure to COVID-19,” said Yelverton. “The work of the City goes on, including the provision of essential services like water distribution, and infrastructure repair. If further changes are necessary for the protection of the public and our employees, we will make those adjustments.”

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation is frequently changing. The City of Southlake is committed to working with our residents and businesses to work through this unprecedented time. We encourage everyone to make the best possible decisions by following expert guidance and advice, reducing the risk of being infected or infecting others, and staying up-to-date about the latest information. For the latest City updates, visit www.ProtectSouthlake.com.