A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Borough employee reports possible COVID-19 exposure

The employee did not work in the public.

A Kenai Peninsula Borough employee was possibly exposed to COVID-19 and is awaiting test results, a Wednesday press release from the borough’s Office of Emergency Management said.

The employee worked in the borough’s solid waste department. Brenda Ahlberg, information officer, declined to say where the employee worked, but said they did not work in the public.

The employee self-reported to their supervisor, and is in self-isolation and monitoring symptoms while they await test results, Ahlberg said.

The release said borough administration sent an internal message to all employees on Wednesday, saying the employee did not have contact with the public. Employees who worked in close proximity have been notified as part of the initial contact investigation, the release said.

“We’re supporting the employee who is in self-isolation, and I’ve instructed all breakroom and confined spaces be avoided,” Mayor Charlie Pierce said. “Everyone needs to continue to practice social distancing.”

Ahlberg said all borough employees have been directed to follow precautions, ensuring that safety protocols and personal protection equipment are used as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Any employee or family members experiencing any type of cold symptoms are asked to notify their supervisor and stay home, and they should call their health care provider if they show any respiratory illness symptoms.

About one-third of all borough employees are working remotely from home or coming to work in alternate shifts to minimize close contact, the release said. The workstations at the borough have also been physically separated 6 feet apart. The release said additional janitorial staff and cleaning schedules have been added. Borough buildings remain closed to the public with the exception of critical services.

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