A total of 11 city of Flint employees are known to have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the city of Flint Human Resources Department. There have now also been two deaths of city employees.
According to the Facebook pages of a family member and fellow city workers, the second person who died with the city was Roderick Duncan, deputy treasurer for the city of Flint, according to LinkedIn. According to the website for Lawrence E. Moon Funeral Home, Duncan 56, passed May 17 at McLaren-Flint.
Duncan’s relative describes him on Facebook as educated, religious, a loving and a giving man.
“We are told that he had the best care, several different treatments including the convalescent plasma treatment, but his underlying health condition made it impossible for a recovery from this virus,” the post continues. “This is real! We do not know where he picked up the virus. He was just on a virtual celebration with my family two weeks ago celebrating one of my aunt’s birthday. He was fine then and now he is gone.”
One city employee said on her social media page: in a weeks time at least six people at her essential job,tested positive for COVID-19.
“It’s nothing to play with!” she said.
“The city of Flint family, like many others, has suffered under COVID-19,” said Mayor Sheldon Neeley.
“We have lost two co-workers and an untold number of friends, retirees and loved ones,” Neeley added. “These times are challenging, unprecedented and heartbreaking. We continue to work proactively both inside and outside city hall to slow the spread of this deadly virus and keep people safe.”
The city of Flint has instituted a series of policies based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The policies include
- A Telecommuting policy
- Environmental Cleaning, Contamination and Disinfectant Police COVID-19
- Employee Screening for COVID-19
- Responding to a Positive COVID-19 test
- Return to Work After Stay at Home Order (Social Distancing and Mitigation Measures)
Among other practices to be put into place, these policies state:
- Employees who are able to work remotely are encouraged to do so.
- Increased cleaning and disinfecting with special attention given to high-touch surfaces.
- All employees who are medically able to wear a mask must do within all shared spaces including hallways and restrooms.
- Restricting employees from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have been in contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19
- Providing personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate for the activity being performed.
- When a COVID-19 positive case occurs, there is deep cleaning of the entire department and any other department(s) visited by the infected individual. Co-workers and others who may have come in contact with the individual in the past 14 days are notified, screened for symptoms and potentially sent home. A medical professional is consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
Temperature checks should be done prior to each employee entering the facility. Employees with fevers over 100 degrees F are to be sent home, whether they have come into contact with another individual who tested positive for COVID-19 or not and whether they know the reason for the symptom of not.
Under the city’s policy, they can return to work after three days of not having a fever, when there are three days of consecutive improvement in their respiratory symptoms and at least seven days have passed since their symptoms began or when they provide written confirmation from a health care professional that they do not have COVID-19.
City employees may be eligible for worker’s compensation, especially if they contracted the virus at work.
The federal government has also established the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This act requires the city to provide the employees with sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 through December 31.
However, employees in the police department, fire department and employees supporting critical infrastructure for the Department of Public Works, who are considered “emergency responders” are not eligible for expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA.