COVID-19 led to two village of Niles employees test positive

Published on: 7/3/20, 9:35 PM

COVID-19 after making trips out of state

COVID-19 after making trips out of state

Though two employees of the village of Niles have tested positive for COVID-19 after making trips out of state, a village spokesman said the risk to the public and to other village employees has been deemed low.

The employees, one of whom works in village administration on the second floor of Village Hall and the other at the Niles Public Works Service Center, learned they had tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, June 26, said Mitch Johnson, spokesman for the village of Niles.

One of the employees had recently traveled to Florida, while the other had traveled to Arizona, Johnson said. Both states have been experiencing surges in COVID-19 infections.

Neither employee had close contact with members of the public as part of their jobs once they returned to Niles, and COVID-19 testing has not been required of other village employees, Johnson said.

“There’s a high degree of confidence that no members of the public would have been exposed,” Johnson said. “The village went through a review of where the employees had been and who they interacted with. There was a small number of other employees they had been near, but neither one was closely interacting with the public.”

Village employees who worked near the two who tested positive are considered low risk for infection based on CDC guidance because employees are required to wear masks and practice social distancing, Johnson said.

“In Village Hall, seven employees were identified as low-risk exposure,” he said. “In public works, two employees were identified as low-risk exposure.”

The public works employee had last been to work on June 23, three days before the virus was confirmed, the village said in a statement. The employee was tested for the virus after experiencing symptoms, the village said.

Both employees who have COVID-19 are “doing well” and neither has been hospitalized, Johnson said.

Village Hall was subsequently closed on June 26 and remained closed the following day for cleaning and sanitizing, Johnson said. The Public Works building had already closed for the day, and cleaning and sanitizing occurred over the weekend, allowing it to reopen on Monday, he said.

In April, a Niles police officer also tested positive for COVID-19, the village reported.

Niles Village Hall is back to operating at normal hours after a complete closure of the building for nearly three months, followed by reduced hours.

Village Hall hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for community development services like building permits, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the finance department.

The village also announced that it has extended the deadline for purchasing vehicle stickers by one month. Stickers must now be purchased and displayed by Aug. 1.