Santa Clarita officials confirmed Monday a post on the Los Angeles County Public Health Department website that reported 11 cases were tied to City Hall.
However, city officials also characterized the county’s figure as “misleading,” noting that nine of the employees were working from home at the time of their diagnoses. The city is currently at approximately 50% staff in person, according to Carrie Lujan, spokeswoman for the city. On a normal day pre-COVID-19, there could be as many as 250 people working at City Hall, according to officials. The exact number of staff working in person was not immediately available.
“The city of Santa Clarita is taking this pandemic very seriously for the safety of our employees and residents who need to access city services,” said City Manager Ken Striplin. “We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on (personal protective equipment), Plexiglas barriers, hand sanitizers, extra cleaning/disinfection services, UV technology and more.”
The city also noted in response that all of its employees who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are thoroughly contact traced, “and our extensive health and safety protocols — including social distancing, mask wearing and flexible remote work — help mitigate any exposure to other staff members or the public,” the statement noted.
The county’s Public Health Department identifies three or more cases tied to any location as an outbreak on the county’s health website.
Starting Jan. 1, the passage of Assembly Bill 685 requires all employers to notify local public health agencies of outbreaks within 48 hours of becoming aware of the number of cases that meets the definition of an outbreak.
The employer must notify the local public health agency in the jurisdiction of the names, phone number, occupation and worksite of employees who may have COVID-19 or who are under a COVID-19 isolation order from a public health official.
The Legislature created a frequently asked questions page for AB 685 here: dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/AB6852020FAQs.html.