The Florida Division of Emergency Management has had to temporarily close down part of its facilities, after 12 of its employees tested positive for the coronavirus.
The areas where the employees work are undergoing a deep clean over the weekend and are expected to reopen Monday, according to agency spokesman Jason Mahon.
He adds that the agency has been going through biweekly virus testing of all employees for the past several weeks.
Last Thursday, four more staff members tested positive for COVID-19, raising the total to 12. That discovery prompted the closure, Mahon explains.
The closing comes as the Division of Emergency Management is at its highest activation level in response to the pandemic.
We’ve been conducting biweekly testing at the EOC for several weeks & mandated masks. The Division has had several positives throughout that period. Those individuals have been isolated while we continue to test. We also instituted teleworking at the EOC & remain at a level 1.
— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) July 16, 2020
Additionally, the state is in the midst of the hurricane season, in a year in which there have already been six named Atlantic storms.
Luckily for our state, no storms were active over the weekend.
Employees who remained on the job at Emergency Management were told to either work in other areas of the division’s complex, or to work from home.
None of the individuals who tested positive showed symptoms of the disease, says Mahon.