Public Works employees record most cases among workforce
By Dolores Quintana
Among Santa Monica city employees there are a total of 160 individuals who have been verified to have been infected with COVID-19 in the last two weeks.
“Community spread of COVID-19 and the high contagiousness of the Omicron variant has caused some City staff to fall ill. Modifications have been made to the City’s already stringent infection control measures to proactively prevent COVID-19 spread in the workplace, such as upgrading masks to medical-grade personal protective equipment citywide and implementing physically distancing and augmented testing in impacted areas,” said Constance Farrell, Public Information Officer for the City of Santa Monica.
These are totals among the different departments, as provided by Farrell, between 1/1 – 1/14. She stated that any employees who are infected “are out after testing positive for COVID-19”.
- Big Blue Bus, including bus drivers, 34
- Community Services (includes Swim Center) 12
- Fire Department 13
- SMPD 36
- Public Works 44
- Other Departments 21
Farrell added that “this has not impacted the City’s ability to provide for the public’s safety and services. Early in the pandemic, essential service City departments developed staff contingency plans to manage staff COVID-19 absenteeism. The City continues to strictly follow all LA County Department of Public Health workplace prevention protocols, both in our worksites and when staff are working with the public.”
The city required vaccination as a requirement of employment in August of 2021 with a deadline of October 29, 2021 to submit proof of vaccination.
With a surge this large, the Omicron COVID variant is one of the most infectious viruses in the world with an infection factor of 15. The most infectious virus is measles which has an infection factor of 18.