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COVID-19 outbreak reported in Henrico's Voter Registration, Public Works departments

Posted at 4:48 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 18:00:10-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico County says they have identified a COVID-19 outbreak in the Voter Registration and Elections Office and the Department of Public Works.

This comes after eight employees have either tested positive or experiencing symptoms of the disease.

County officials say they have initiated contract tracing and rapid testing of others who may have been potentially exposed.

“At this time, we believe this outbreak is limited to Henrico County employees and do not believe any residents who voted in-person at the Henrico County Government Center were potentially exposed,” Deputy County Manager for Public Safety Anthony E. McDowell said. “In-person voting ended on Saturday, October 31. It was one week later, on Saturday, November 7, that the first employee of the Voter Registration and Elections Office began to experience symptoms of infection.”

The Administration Building Annex at the Henrico County Government Center, where the Voter Registration and Elections Office and Public Works are located, is closed until Monday for enhanced cleaning and disinfection. Employees who typically work in the affected building will work remotely Thursday and Friday.

In total, Henrico reports seven county employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and one employee is presumed positive while awaiting test results.

"The first sign of the outbreak came Saturday, when a supervisor with the Voter Registration and Elections Office began to experience symptoms of COVID-19 infection. The employee was tested Monday and confirmed positive today," officials said in a release. "County officials identified five other employees as 'close contacts' who were potentially exposed and seven 'lesser contacts.'"

Testing revealed that three of the close contacts were also positive for COVID-19. In addition, one other employee is at home with a fever and presumed positive while awaiting test results.

Two employees of Public Works also tested positive Tuesday. A third employee of the department tested positive in late October.

County officials say while the Voter Registration and Elections Office and Public Works are located in the same building, they are unsure whether the COVID-19 outbreaks are connected.