Temp worker at El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Banks tests positive for COVID-19

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A temporary worker at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank tested positive for COVID-19.

The food bank said, in a news release, that the worker was on the processing line from April 6 to 8 and was wearing protective equipment and following social distancing guidelines. Three days later the worker began to feel ill.

When the worker reported he was ill, the food bank contacted the City Health Department for an assessment. Health officials reviewed the procedures at the food bank and “assured” El Pasoans Fighting Hunger that they were following all proper guidelines and there was “low-risk,” the release said.

“We are in close contact with the Health Department and we continue to be low-risk for transmission at our facility,” said Susan Goodell, Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to take appropriate measures to keep our temporary workers, volunteers, employees and the community at-large are safe during these times. Our thoughts and prayers are with the volunteer and we hope for a speedy recovery.”

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger has implemented the following procedures to ensure protection from COVID-19.

Take temperature and health data upon entry to the facility; anyone who does not meet health guidelines is sent home.Require gloves and masks for all personnel; employees, volunteers, and visitors.Assign tasks in small groups with appropriate social distancing measures built in to the lines.Maintain constant airflow through our 177,000 sq. ft. facility at all times.Clean high contact surfaces multiple times daily.Comprehensive cleaning of the facility at the end of every day.Deep clean every weekend.Have specific personnel assigned to monitor appropriate PPE use and help temporary workers, volunteers, staff and National Guard troops to maintain appropriate social distancing at all times.

“The Office of Emergency Management and Department of Public Health has been working with the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank and other non-profit organizations, to help provide guidance on how to protect their employees and their clients while still meeting the critical needs to the community,” said Jorge Rodriguez, Assistant Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator. “The food bank has responded proactively to the Public Health Department’s guidance.”

So far, no other workers have shown signs of COVID-19, the release said.

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