Pembroke’s City Council is requiring all its city employees wear face masks while on the job, or in or near city facilities after a handful of the city’s public works workers attending a funeral Friday came in contact with a man who tested positive for COVID-19.
In all, five of the city’s approximately 30 employees were in contact with the man, according to City Administrator Alex Floyd, who sent out a statement early Tuesday morning.
They have been tested and results haven’t come back yet.
Council adopted the policy, at its Monday night council meeting. Council members Tiffany Walraven and Diane Moore attended the meeting online.
Floyd said the contact with the city workers were told by Mayor Judy Cook to be tested and stay home until they get results. “Until then and perhaps longer the City of Pembroke will be shorthanded by almost 20 percent,” a written statement from the city said. “We appreciate the public’s understanding and hope to minimize the impact of a smaller Public Works Department at this crucial time of their year.” City workers who don’t follow the policy will “be sent home without pay,” according to a copy of the document sent to the Bryan County News.
Among its requirements is that workers who show signs of illness such as fever over 100.4 degrees, a cough or shortness of breath will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks. The policy said the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, is in effect. It also calls for more extensive and regular cleaning of equipment in city facilities used regularly by city employees.
In addition, employees have to use assigned computers, work tools, radios and equipment and “sharing is discouraged at this particular time.”
As for masks, employees are also required to wear them to anytime they’re “within six of a civilian or other employee.”
The policy also spells out when city employees can enter public facilities and prohibits gathering during work hours. Handshaking and person to person contact is also banned except for emergencies.
Also Monday night: · Council’s approved the issuance of a request for qualifications to construct a new city hall and renovate the current city hall into a police station.
· Council approved and adopted resolutions required by the state’s Community Home Investment Program. Pembroke has received a second round of CHIP funding to build 10 homes in Dubois Square.
Workers are in the process of finishing up four CHIP-funded homes on Camellia Drive.
· Approved a variance for frontage requirements on four lots on Judith Street Extension by JLW Investments, Inc., and, in a separate request, approved an application for a Mobile home permit on Fields Street.
Sunday afternoon, a local gentleman received word that he had tested positive for COVID-19. This gentleman did his due diligence and contacted people that he had been in close contact with at a funeral on Friday morning including several City of Pembroke Public Works employees.
Those employees who had direct contact with this person for an extended period of time were instructed by Mayor Judy Cook to be tested and remain home until they receive results. Until then (perhaps longer) the City of Pembroke will be shorthanded by almost 20 percent.
We appreciate the public’s understanding and hope to minimize the impact of a smaller Public Works Department at this crucial time of their year.
The administration would also like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank those employees who remain diligent with mask, hand-washing and social distancing policies and continue to serve our community. At last night’s City Council meeting a face-mask policy for employees was adopted and will be distributed today. It will remain in effect until further notice.
On Monday there were 267 reported cases of COVID-19 in Bryan County, according to the Coastal Health District. Five Bryan County residents have died of result of the coronavirus.
Due to increased incident rates of COVID-19 and the concerns to protect City employees and others from exposure, the policies below are immediately effective until further notice.
We strive to provide a clean and safe working environment based upon CDC and OSHA guidelines during this pandemic.
EMPLOYEES WILL BE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW ALL POLICIES OR WILL BE SENT HOME WITHOUT PAY. THANK YOU FOR HELPING US MAINTAIN A CLEAN AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR BOTH EMPLOYEES AND CITIZENS OF PEMBROKE.
1. Employees who exhibit signs of illness, including a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, or shortness of breath will be sent home to self-quarantine for 14 days.
2. Employees who exhibit signs of illness are not to report to work and are required to seek medical attention. Supervisors should be notified immediately via text or phone call. Supervisors are to notify Alex Floyd immediately with documentation by supervisors.
3. Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) is in effect as of April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
4. All credit card machines, pin pads, computer equipment (to include mouse, keyboard, power source), telephones, work area, door knobs, and frequently touched areas are to be cleaned before opening, during day, and at the end of day by employees.
5. Employees are to use their assigned computer and phones (Sanitizing must take place prior to opening). They are not to use other employee’s computers or phones throughout the day to minimize interaction among one another.
6. Employees are to use their own desks, offices, work tools, radios and other equipment. Sharing is discouraged at this current time.
7. All employees have been provided with a cloth mask and access to disposable masks. Masks are to be worn at all times. Please sanitize masks at the end of each day by washing if using a cloth mask.
a. Masks should be worn at all times within a City building. Masks are required outside of a City building when you are within 6 feet of a citizen or another employee.
b. Employees may wear their own mask as long as it is not offensive in nature.
c. Masks should properly cover both the mouth and nose and securely fit under the chin.
8. All persons entering a City building must wear a mask at all times while in the building. Persons refusing to wear a mask while in the building will not be permitted entry and/or will be directed to immediately leave the building.
9. Anyone who has been in direct contact with a person with Covid-19 within 14 days will not be permitted entry to a City building.
10. Anyone with a temperature of 99.6 or higher will not be permitted entry into a City building and the City may take the temperature of anyone entering a City building. Anyone refusing to have their temperature to be taken will not be permitted entry into the building.
11. Gathering of workers during work hours is strictly prohibited. Employees must strive to maintain 6 feet social distancing standards.
12. Workers are to take breaks or eat meals outside, in their assigned office or workspace, or in such an area where social distancing is attainable.
13. Handshaking and person-to-person contact is strictly prohibited unless required by emergency.
14. Employees are to frequently wash hands at a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer throughout the day.
15. Pin pad and pen usage by customers on credit card machines is suspended temporarily. Employees are to use the devices for the customers including confirming totals, signing, etc. Customers are not to touch the credit card machines.
16. Employees are to use hand sanitizer after each money transaction.
17. Social distancing of non-co-habitating persons is required among all employees.
18. Workspaces should be separated by a minimum of 6 feet.