Positive test… Elizabethton City employee tests positive for COVID-19

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, June 23, 2020

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**CORRECTION – This is the corrected version to an earlier story that stated the employee was a police officer. Mr. Estes statements to the Star did not reflect that the employee was a police officer and was identified as only a city employee. The Star regrets the incorrect information as originally reported. 
An Elizabethton city worker has been confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 as cases of the virus continue to make their way through Carter County and show no signs of slowing down even during the summer months.
According to City Manager Daniel Estes, his office was notified by the employee on Monday morning June 15th of the positive test result. Due to HIPPA laws, the name of the employee cannot be revealed.
Estes said the City followed the protocol of the CDC guidelines when notified of the employee’s positive test.
“The other employees that were in the immediate work area were notified at the same time we were made aware of the test result,” Estes said. “HR consulted the health department and those employees were not considered ‘close contacts’ by the health department.
“The employee had taken personal leave during the week prior to becoming sick and had only worked one day prior to the day of becoming sick. We are not aware of the employee coming into any ‘close contact’ with any members of the general public on the day of sickness.”
After being notified by the employee, the city responded by making sure to clean the area that the employee may have been in contact with.
“The area the employee was in was cleaned,” Estes stated. “The employee has an assigned vehicle so no other city employee would have been exposed by way of this vehicle.
“The city has implemented enhanced facility cleaning since the pandemic began.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began. the City of Elizabethton implemented employee policy changes in early April. Estes commented that those policies were followed and have been effective at managing the issue.

The employee wasn’t sick initially when returning to work with Estes saying, ” The employee was not sick upon arrival to work. However, the employee was at work for a short period of time and began to feel sick. The employee then went home and contacted a physician.”

Estes was also asked if any other City employee was currently being evaluated for the virus.

“No, there are no other city employees currently awaiting test results or showing signs of COVID-19,” commented Estes.

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Citizens are still reminded to follow safety protocols as the number of COVID-19 cases has increased on a larger scale, especially in the state of Tennessee.