TUCSON, Ariz. — According to City Manager Michael Ortega, 17 workers at a Tucson 911 dispatch center have tested positive for coronavirus.
Ortega confirmed the infections at the Public Safety Communications Department in Wednesday email.
City spokesman Andy Squire said that services would not be disrupted by the infections.
Of the 17 infected, 11 were asymptomatic and were sent home for a quarantine period. Six of the employees showed symptoms and were placed on paid sick leave. Squire said he did not have an update on their conditions.
Six of the asymptomatic employees have been cleared to return to work.
Squire said call center employees had been cross-trained to help prepare for workforce shortages, and said the training is continuing.
Facilities continue to be sanitized in order to prevent future exposure to infections.
As you may be aware, we have small cluster of employees at the Public Safety Communications Department who have tested positive for COVID-19. Below is an update from director Jamie O’Leary on testing and operational changes. This situation is unfortunate, and I want to assure you that the City has plans in place to ensure the safety of our community and wellbeing of employees and that those plans and protocols have been followed expeditiously.
As soon as staffing levels dropped, Jamie and her management team took actions to preserve service levels by initiating its Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). That plan is attached. Additionally, the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was immediately engaged. The EOC, with guidance from the Pima County Health Department, initiated mandatory, department-wide testing and other protocols needed to protect employee health and assess the scope of the problem. In addition to keeping the EOC apprised of the situation, she is also communicating with both Chief Magnus and Chief Ryan.
I will continue to keep you posted as more information becomes available. As always, please feel free to reach out to me individually if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail. Thanks…