Coronavirus: Clark County government case not considered threat to public, health department says

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Employee at Clark County government center tests positive

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Clark County government employee who works at a Springfield based government center has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the employee’s department to close until further notice.

According to a statement from the Board of Clark County Commissioner, the employee at the Springview Government Center has been isolated and will remain under surveillance for 14 days, according to a statement released late Tuesday. It’s unclear when the employee tested positive.

The case has been reported to the Clark County Combined Health District, the statement said, and contact tracing will be performed to alert all individuals who may have been exposed to the virus.

Emma Smales, CCCHD spokesperson, said because only one employee at the center has tested positive, the situation is not considered a workplace outbreak and the district does not expect the center to become one at this point.

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In addition, Smales said the public should not be concerned about contracting the virus from the employee.

“You would only need to be worried if you were exposed to someone positive for a period longer than 15 minutes, you were closer than 6 feet apart and you both were not wearing a mask,” Smales said.

Clark County spokesperson Michael Cooper said the employee “followed all social distancing protocols put in place when interacting with the public, including wearing a facial covering.”

“We’ve also installed barriers in offices to limit interaction between our employees and the public,” Cooper said.

As a result of the positive case, the Community and Economic Development and Personnel departments located on the first floor of Springview, which is located at 3130 E. Main St., will be closed until further notice, the statement said.

“The health and safety of our staff and customers is our number one priority,” Clark County Administrator Jenny Hutchinson said. “We’ll work with the health district to ensure we follow all responsible restart guidelines before reopening the departments.”

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Other departments at Springview, including the Clark County Utilities office, will remain open. However, social distancing guidelines will remain in place in all Clark County buildings to “better serve both residents and county employees during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

The county is also, “strongly encouraging,” those who seek in-person services with the county staff to take several precautions including submitting to temperature checks, wearing appropriate face coverings and maintaining a social/physical distance of six feet at all times.

The Springview employee is the fifth known Clark County employee to test positive for the coronavirus.

In late May, the county released a statement alerting the public that four Clark County Juvenile Detention Center employees, and one juvenile, had tested positive for the virus.

Since then, the outbreak at the detention center has been contained and no new cases have been reported, according to data from the CCCHD.

Clark County has 739 cases, eight deaths and one probable death, of the coronavirus as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s website.