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City of Myrtle Beach quarantines 92 employees per City Manager

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In a letter sent to city staff, Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen states 92 employees have been quarantined as a result of coming into contact with persons infected by Covid 19. 48 of those quarantined have now returned to work.

Letter to city staff from John Pedersen

Good afternoon.  I hope that you have all had a good weekend and that you remain safe and healthy. Since the last update the media has featured stories about the number of City positions that are  quarantined.  I would like for you all to get the actual numbers so that we are working off the same set of facts.

As of Friday there are 44 City employees now quarantined for the virus.  48 additional  teammates have been quarantined at some point, but have since been released to come back to work.  So far then, a total of 92 employees, roughly 10% of our workforce, has been affected personally by this virus.

At this point we have had 5 employees who are confirmed positive, 3 in Police, and 2 in Building Maintenance.  One of the officers has since been cleared to come back to work.  The other 2 officers and the 2 from Building Maintenance were all housed in the same facility off 13th South (we had relocated officers due to the construction activity in the Law Enforcement Annex).   That facility was professionally cleaned by a contractor on Friday.    Above is the count by day of how many employees have been placed out of work.  As you can see, the numbers were consistently between 0 and 4 per day until yesterday, when we learned of the issue in the building on 13th South.

The sobering discovery of the problem on 13th South is a reminder to all of us that we need to treat this issue very seriously.  Like in football, the best offense against this virus is a great defense.  Remember the big 3 – wash your hands often, sanitize your workplace frequently, and maintain social distancing always.

In addition to these standbys, late last week  also received a an order of thermometers which will be used to test our employees at the beginning and end of each workday (see the attached procedures and the temp log).  We will begin these procedures tomorrow.  In addition, we are expecting shortly to receive a very large order of surgical masks which will allow us to replace some of the masks that have been previously distributed to our front-line personnel and to distribute them to office staff as well.

I’d like to end by commending our Purchasing staff for their work during this pandemic.  Since the first inkling of this outbreak they have been very hard at work locating critical supplies for us to continue our efforts.  Those efforts are much appreciated.

Finally. HIPPA regulations do not let me specifically identify any of the employees who has tested positive, but one in particular is in rough shape.  I would like to ask that you keep this unnamed teammate in your prayers.

Be safe, stay healthy, and stay strong, together… #WeGotThis.

John

OFFICIAL CITY MANDATED PROCEDURES FOR STAFF

Procedure
1. Departments have been provided a Braun Thermoscan IRT-6515 ear thermometer for employee use. In addition, you will each be issued a personal tip for you to use with the thermometer. It is your responsibility to keep this tip for each reuse and clean as necessary.
2. The supervisor will enter the date and employee name on the COVID Temperature Log. The supervisor will ensure every employee takes their temperature at the beginning of the workday.
3. The employee will enter their temperature on the COVID Temperature Log
in the “Start Temp” box and initial the entry. If an employee’s temperature
is greater than 100° F the employee cannot work and must isolate in their
vehicle immediately. The supervisor shall notify their next in command and
provide the names of those employees that were in close contact of the
employee who has the high temperature reading. The department head, or designee, should contact the City’s Infection Control Nurse at 843 602-6459 for further direction.
4. At the end of the workday, the supervisor will ensure each employee retakes their temperature. The employee will enter their temperature on the COVID Temperature Log in the “End Temp” box and initial the entry. For employees whose shift passes midnight and the end date is different from the start date, the same line as the starting temperature shall be used.
5. If an employee’s temperature is greater than 100° F they must isolate in their vehicle immediately. The supervisor shall notify their next in command and provide the names of those employees that were in close contact with the febrile employee. The department head, or designee, should contact the City’s Infection Control Nurse at 843 602-6459 for further direction.
6. The supervisor is responsible for maintaining the log. The log should be secured and all attempts to maintain privacy shall be taken.
7. Employees shall wash or sanitize their hands immediately after handling the thermometer.

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David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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