Thursday, September 3, 2020

Coronavirus Update 9-3-2020: County health department fires five for quarantine order violation

Erie County, Ohio, has fired five health department employees for violating a quarantine order. What happened? Fox 8 provides the details:
Five Erie County General Health District employees are now out of a job after allegedly attending a pool party thrown by a worker, who was supposed to be quarantined.

"I am not going to tolerate it as a health commissioner and the board isn't going to tolerate it as our appointing authority," said Erie County Health Director Peter Schade. "How can we expect folks to follow an order when our own staff didn’t do it?"

Schade said the incident happened in early July after three workers were exposed to COVID-19 and placed on work quarantine orders.

Makes perfect sense to me. A county health department cannot expect to be able to enforce safety orders that its own employees don't follow.

Your business likely isn't a county health department. But you should be able to establish reasonable expectations for how your employees are to behave outside of work during a pandemic. If you want to set rules regarding ravel, bars, parties and other mass gatherings, and hold employees to them if you discover violations, I won't fault you. 

Labor Day weekend is this weekend. Millions are projected to travel, and experts warn that Covid cases could explode if people don't behave responsibly during the holiday. If you want to do what you can to try to keep Covid out of your workplace, now is the time to have that expectation-setting conversation with your employees. It's hard for them to complain if they know the rules and choose to break them anyway.

* Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash