City of Burnaby employee tests positive for COVID-19

A City of Burnaby employee has tested positive for COVID-19, and another staff member who was in contact with the affected employee has been told to undergo self-assessment.

The affected employee has been away from the office since March 14, according to an internal email obtained by the NOW, but they had “limited” contact with another city employee.

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City spokesperson Chris Bryan confirmed the veracity of the email, which was sent by city manager Lambert Chu to all staff.

The affected employee was recently admitted to hospital, according to the email, which does not state the condition of the employee, nor does it say which department they work in.

“The work area where this employee worked has been thoroughly cleaned earlier out of an abundance of caution,” Chu wrote in the email.

“I know situations like this, where one of our own employees is affected by COVID-19, would only add to the emotional and mental stress that many are experiencing. I can only re-assure you that the city is committed to, without question, protecting the health and well-being of its employees.”

Chu wrote that the other employee who has been in contact with the affected person has been told to follow the self-assessment protocols from the provincial government.

Chu told staff the city remains committed to taking “responsible steps” to shield employees from the spread of COVID-19.

The city has taken increasing precautions over the last couple of weeks to try to protect employees from the virus, including closing most public facilities and enforcing appointment-only visits to those that remain open.

The city also has employees working in shifts and reduced hours, without reduced pay, to limit the number of people in any given workspace.

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