By Bruce Corcoran
A local contractor is worried several of his employees may have been exposed to COVID-19, but says Public Health officials have not done enough testing for anyone to know for sure.
The contractor, commented based on a guarantee of anonymity, told The Chatham Voice, an employee is a close family member of one of the people in Chatham-Kent who tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
“About 20 or so other family members have had close contact. All are self-isolating. So is our employee,” the contractor said. “But this particular employee had been around our shop. He wasn’t in close contact with anyone, but he has been there. Our guys are concerned.”
The contractor said the business has set up sanitization stations, and has locked all its exterior doors, save one.
“Our staff, when they come in, we have hand sanitizers and wet wipes. Our guys are encouraged to use them all the time,” the contractor said.
But he would liked to have seen more information and more proactive behaviour from Public Health.
“We’ve received mixed messages from those guys. They say if you aren’t showing any symptoms, you don’t have anything to worry about,” the contractor said. “And then we questioned that. They have since said anyone who has been in contact with (someone who tested positive for COVID-19) has to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor. If you have signs of a sore throat or cough, immediately report in to Public Health and then you would be told what to do.”
Repeated calls to Public Health officials by The Voice were not returned by press time.
The contractor, in the meantime, said he is aware information is changing all the time on how to minimize the chances of the spread of COVID-19.
“I understand it is a progressive learning process. But it sure would have been nice to have real factual information from the start,” he said.
The contractor said his firm is being flexible but firm with staff. Employees have the option to self-isolate if they are worried, and report to the company on any illness.
“That’s been made very clear. We’re taking this as seriously as we can,” the contractor said. “We also have several employees returning from trips out of the country. They will have to self-isolate when they get back.”