Mar 18, 2020

Silicon Water District Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

Santa Clara Valley Water District says water service will not be disrupted, but the employee is under quarantine


coronavirus covid-19

An employee at Silicon Valley, California's largest water district has tested positive for COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus.

 At least eight other employees, including CEO Norma Camacho, were in self-quarantine as a result, reported the Mercury News.

The employee worked at the Santa Clara Valley Water District, a public agency which provides drinking water and flood protection to 2 million residents from Mountain View to San Jose to Gilroy.

The employee began showing symptoms Mar. 2, 2020, but did not return to district offices after Feb. 29 and remains hospitalized. They are not involved with the treatment or delivery of drinking water and these services are continuing uninterrupted, according to officials at the district.

“As Valley Water continues to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19, we want to reassure our community that this virus is not impacting the safety of your drinking water, or our ability to supply water in Santa Clara County, ” said Camacho in a statement.

Valley Water will continue to provide a reliable supply of safe, clean drinking water to residents and businesses in Santa Clara County, according to Mercury News. 

Camacho and other water district officials attended a public event with the employee on Feb. 29 in Mountain View, before they knew he was sick. The ribbon-cutting event was attended by 500 people and was to open the new field for Mountain View Little League, which the water district designed as a flood protection project.

Water district officials learned last Monday that the employee had tested positive and they contacted Santa Clara County Public health officials and had crews deep clean office areas where the employee worked. Eight employees at the district who had worked closely with the ill staff member have been under self-quarantine, though none have tested positive.

It is not known how the employee became infected, reported Mercury News. The employee had not traveled to places where there have been significant outbreaks. City officials have not become sick or know of any others who might have become sick, according to Shonda Ranson, a Mountain View city spokeswoman.

“There wasn’t a lot of handshaking. We were in a big large open space,” said Ranson. “Nobody was close together for any length of time. There were no recommendations from the county health department for people who were there to quarantine.”

Mountain View has declared a local emergency due to the COVID-19 virus. The city has also opened its emergency operations center and cancelled events, shifted to video conferences for meetings and has distributed hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes at public counters and to city employees.

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