Updated 1:45 p.m. December 24, 2020
Field office employee says there are a handful of active cases
By Sam Catanzaro
The Santa Monica DMV remains open despite a reported COVID-19 outbreak among staff.
An employee wishing to remain anonymous of the Santa Monica DMV has told the Santa Monica Mirror that the field office at 2235 Colorado Avenue office has five current confirmed cases of COVID-19 “with many more employees at home being tested for the virus or quarantining.”
“The Santa Monica DMV should be closed to the public for 10 days to reduce the possible spread of Covid 19,” the employee said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the DMV remains open with a line of people waiting outside.
The employee provided the Mirror a memo from the DMV’s Human Resources Branch informing staff of the positive cases.
“DMV has learned that team members at Santa Monica Field Office tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The team members notified the department on December 21, 2020, of the positive results. This memorandum is to inform you that you may have been exposed to COVID-19,” reads the memo. “While we understand team members may have questions about the health of coworkers and friends in the office, it is necessary that we protect that health-related information of team members. We cannot confirm the health status or communicate about coworkers’ health.”
According to the memo, team members that have been identified as having close contact (less than six for at least 15 minutes) with a COVID-19 positive employee will receive a separate letter.
“Team members that may have been exposed, but did not have close contact, should self-monitor for symptoms,” the memo continues.
The memo is signed by Tina Campbell, Chief of the DMV’s Human Resources Branch. Campbell has not responded to a request for comment at the time of publishing.
As of 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has not listed the Santa Monica DMV among non-residential settings with three or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases. Public Health when reached for comment said it was not aware of any cases at the Santa Monica DMV.
“The DMV is a close partner with Public Health and has worked with us in past on employee outbreaks at various offices,” Public Health wrote in an email.
A public information officer with the DMV, when asked to confirm or deny the allegations, told the Mirror “the DMV can’t provide a breakdown of cases by region for privacy reasons.”
“The DMV takes the health and safety of its staff and customers seriously which is why we have put in place significant protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, consistent with public health guidance. Masks are required in DMV buildings, physical distancing is enforced and temperature checks are required for all who enter the DMV field offices. Buildings are cleaned regularly and the DMV follows CDC guidance,” the officer added. “The state is committed to maintaining a safe work environment for employees. Following department policies and labor agreements, the state regularly assesses workplace risk and makes adjustments when needed to ensure employee safety.”
This article will be updated as more information becomes available