Niagara County Acting Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti on Thursday announced a communications division employee has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
The employee had an exposure outside of his employment during off-duty hours early last week and continued working in the dispatch center. The employee was notified later in the week of the possible exposure and continued working in the dispatch center, but was not showing any symptoms at that time.
The NCSO said the employee and the Sheriff’s Office were following guidance issued from the New York State Health Department and the CDC regarding safety practices for critical workers who may have been exposed to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. On April 9, new directives were issued to all dispatch employees requiring cloth masks, provided by the Sheriff’s Office, to be worn while working in the Dispatch Center.
On Friday, April 10, during the course of self-monitoring, the employee discovered a fever and was taken off work by a physician at that time. The employee was later tested and the positive result was revealed today.
Once the employee was displaying COVID-19-like symptoms, the employee’s work area was thoroughly sanitized, as it is a station utilized by employees on each shift. No other employees had worked in that station from the time the employee left the shift and the extra sanitization occurred.
Cleaning has been enhanced in all areas of the Sheriff’s Office, including the Dispatch Center, to follow Health Department guidelines. The Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Niagara County Health Department to ensure that testing is available to any staff member showing symptoms – and was specifically consulted regarding this employee once it was determined that a possible exposure had occurred.
This is the third employee of the Sheriff’s Office to test positive for COVID-19. Since the start of this pandemic, a total of 14 employees have been tested.
Filicetti said, “As this pandemic progresses, we will continue to monitor and adjust our procedures, as needed, to keep our work environment as safe as possible.”
The employee remains at home, recovering, with minor symptoms at this time.