Statesboro City Manager Charles Penny confirmed Saturday that one of the city’s employees has tested positive for COVID-19. In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, City Hall will be closed to the public until further notice, Penny announced.
The city government has taken measures to ensure that any coworkers who came in contact with the staff member are self-isolated for the next 14 days and will be tested for the virus, the press release stated. The employee was reported to be asymptomatic and was sent home for testing after they notified their supervisor that they had been to a local business that had recently closed due to a COVID-19 positive employee.
“All of us at the city of Statesboro send our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to our affected staff member,” Penny said. “We’ve been making necessary precautions and preparations to protect our employees and the public, but we knew there was a chance the virus would reach our workforce as it continues to spread across the nation.”
Although City Hall will be closed to the public, city employees will continue to report to work during this time. Utility customers will still be able to pay their bills through the following methods: City Hall drop boxes located at the front porch and back parking lot, by phone at 833-262-5907, or online at www.municipalonlinepayments.com/statesboroga/. Utility disconnections will be suspended from June 29 through July 3.
Since the beginning of March, the city has contracted a professional cleaning service to thoroughly clean each city-owned building weekly. Physical meetings have also been kept to a minimum with virtual meetings taking their place, Penny said. All city buildings have been posted with informational flyers regarding COVID-19 for employees and customers. Since reopening to the public in June, visitors to City Hall and other city buildings have been required to wear masks and undergo temperature and symptom checks before being permitted entry, he said.
“Open and frequent communication with our employees is a top priority during this time,” said city Human Resources Director Demetrius Bynes. “ We’ve been issuing messages to our employees through multiple media channels, covering a variety of topics from safety and prevention to emotional trauma stemming from COVID-19. Our goal is to establish a knowledgeable and equipped workforce that is prepared for whatever might come its way.”
City officials are continuing to monitor the virus and work with the Bulloch County Health Department and Bulloch County Emergency Management to provide updates and resources to the community. For local information regarding COVID-19, visit statesboroga.gov.