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COVID-19 struck Kent County Complex

Andre Lamar * Delaware
andre.lamar@doverpost.com
Dover Post

An asymptomatic employee working in the Kent County Administrative Complex tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first positive case for a worker in that building, said Kent County Levy Court spokeswoman Kelly Pitts.   

The positive case was announced through Kent County Levy Court's blog May 1. The employee tested positive April 30.

The employee reported that they were working on the first floor of the Administrative Complex, and social distancing was maintained at all times during the week of April 30.

Additionally, the employee said there was no direct contact (without social distancing) with other county employees that week, according to the blog post.

Pitts said a few employees whose workstations are closest to the asymptomatic person were self-quarantined, and some who felt threatened by the virus chose to be tested. All of those tests came back negative. 

The reason all employees in the building weren’t tested was because Levy Court didn’t have the authority, Pitts said. Under state guidelines, individuals interested in getting tested must get a referral from their health-care provider.

After learning of the positive employee’s test results, Pitts said the Administrative Complex was sanitized.

“The employee’s workstation has been thoroughly sterilized, and was corded off for several days, including the weekend (since as per the CDC, the virus lasts about three days on hard surfaces)," Pitts said.

"It was reported that the employee frequented the copier, which was sterilized/sanitized and [that’s] done every day. The restrooms, hallways, doors, etc., are sterilized," Pitts added.

Contact tracing is a key strategy used for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For that strategy, public health staff work with a patient to help them recall everyone they've had close contact with during the timeframe they may have been infectious. 

Levy Court spokeswoman Pitts said contact tracing wasn’t used this time because the employee maintained social distancing.

The employee was advised by medical professionals to self-quarantine for seven days, in which yesterday was the seventh. They must receive two consecutive negative tests before returning to work.

“This case illustrates the importance of social distancing and vigilance,” according to Levy Court’s blog. “Anyone, even someone without the typical symptoms, can be exposed to and diagnosed with COVID-19.”