Fri | May 14, 2021

Positive case sparks COVID-19 scare at HMC

Published:Wednesday | March 17, 2021 | 12:17 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Staff members who work inside the main building at the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), located at Bustamante Square in Lucea, are now on edge as credible reports surfaced yesterday that a member of staff has tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus.

The Gleaner was informed that a senior member of staff returned a positive result for the virus, and as a consequence, other staff members who became aware of the situation when they showed up for work yesterday are now waiting for instructions as to what course of action they should take in light of the news.

“Me deh stay far from the building, as me nah play no hero and go inside deh,” an employee, who asked not to be identified, told The Gleaner. “Me have me family to go home to.”

Our news team was also told that staff members only became aware of the status with their affected colleague when they showed up for work yesterday. The news caused instant panic, and there was a general refusal to enter the building.

When contacted, David Gardner, the chief executive officer of the HMC, said he was aware of the report of the COVID-19 situation and that the matter is being investigated before any action is taken.

“It is a matter that we are still looking at. I do not have any official words per se, but it is a matter that we are dealing with as we speak,” said Gardner.

RESPONSE PLAN

When quizzed as to how soon he should be able to give a fulsome statement on the matter and initiate action to ease the fears and concerns of the other staff members, Gardner said he expects to see some form of action within 24 hours.

“Well, I am sure that by tomorrow (today) I would have, but as I say, I want to get all the facts first before I can say anything at all. I have to gather all the facts before I can speak” emphasised Gardner.

Several workers in the corporation’s main building vacated their post after hearing the news, while others are expressing deep concern about the delay in closing the building for deep cleaning and sanitising.

Just recently, workers within that same building expressed concern about air-quality issues, pointing out that mould is widespread in one of the partition walls in the historic building. It was subsequently reported that an assessment is being done of the situation with a view of fixing the problem.

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