RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is requiring employees to temporarily work from home after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Approximately 350 employees of the agency who are assigned to its East Broad Street headquarters office in Richmond will be required to work from home. Most of them had already been teleworking, according to the VEC.
VEC call centers and district offices are not affected by this move and will continue to process Unemployment Insurance claims, hold administrative hearings, and respond to customer inquiries. Only people who receive a paper check as their method of payment may see a slight delay. This accounts for less than .0027% (approximately one-quarter of one percent) of claims processed.
"Many of the employees at this office were already teleworking, so this change is expected to have a minimal impact on operations. Working from home is possible through the recent acquisition of laptop computers for employees in these administrative departments," a VEC spokesperson said in a press release.
"The office will undergo a thorough cleaning tonight, and the agency will take appropriate steps to resume normal operations while continuing to encourage teleworking"
This is the fourth VEC employee to test positive for the coronavirus in the past three months. After each case, the office was temporarily shut down and the office fully cleaned.
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.