HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Garbage collection will be delayed by a day for some residents in Henrico County after four workers tested positive for COVID-19, officials announced Wednesday.
Department of Public Utilities (DPU) officials said solid waste division staffing shortages are impacting several routes and roughly 5,000 customers a day.
"Customers whose trash is not picked up on the scheduled day are being prioritized for collection the following morning," Henrico's Deputy County Manager for Community Operations Steve Yob said. "The division aims to have all the week’s routes collected by the end of business Saturday."
Officials warned the delays will impact customers across the county and could continue through Friday, June 26.
DPU officials said the four solid waste division workers who tested positive, three of whom had symptoms and a fourth who was asymptomatic before being tested, are isolated at their homes and "on the mend."
Officials said the four cases were unrelated.
“First and foremost, our thoughts are with our coworkers who tested positive for COVID-19, and we wish them a speedy recovery,” Yob said.
Officials said another five staffers who had contact with those employees are in quarantine at home for 14 days.
Additionally, 50 other employees in the division were tested and were negative for the virus.
"The solid waste facility at Woodman Road, including trucks and equipment, has been sanitized and undergone a deep cleaning," Yob said.
Customers whose trash is not picked up within 48 hours of their normal collection day should email Henrico DPU at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.