CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Department of Procurement Services employee who works at City Hall has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
City officials do not believe the employee caught the COVID-19 virus at work, but have conducted a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the procurement office, the employee’s workspace, and common areas of City Hall, according to department spokeswoman Catherine Kwiatkowski.
“Any close contacts with the individual have been required to self-quarantine as a precaution and we will monitor the symptoms of any additional staff at DPS,” Kwiatkowski wrote in an email. “We continue to work closely with the [Chicago Department of Public Health] and follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines as we ensure proper protocols and preventative measures are in place for the health and safety of our staff.”
The announcement comes one day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot began suspending some “non-essential” city services, allowing many city employees to work from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
City department heads have been instructed to allow any employees who can to work from home.
Kwiatkowski said the Department of Procurement Services is following that new policy, and employees who can work from home will begin to do so.
“Today, we are continuing to work toward a reduction of non-essential government personnel staffing to limit the number of people who work in person,” she said.
The mayor’s office said the city also would begin suspending “non-essential government services that cannot be performed from home by employees.”
All public safety departments, including the Police Department, Fire Department, Office Emergency Management & Communications, will remain fully staffed, according to the mayor’s office. Other critical services such as sanitation, water, and airport operations also will remain fully staffed and operational.
All city employees will continue to receive their normal pay and benefits, including health care, whether they are continuing to work from their office, from home, or if their job duties have been suspended.
The city will also no longer allow anyone in City Hall except personnel for the coming weeks. The City side of the building, 121 N. LaSalle, will be closed to the public on floors that do not provide public services, open only to staff.
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