COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Verizon Call Center in Elgin, South Carolina, has been temporarily shuttered after the company says an employee there tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19.
A company email stated:
"As a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of our employees and community, the Verizon facility at 501 Spears Creek Church Road Elgin, SC has been closed for deep cleaning, effective immediately.
The reason we are closing the facility is that an employee in this location has tested positive for COVID-19. That person will not be returning to the workplace until they are fully recovered, but they are safe and receiving care. We will be contacting those employees who we believe were in close proximity to the employee shortly to discuss self-quarantine and work-from-home procedures.
While the center is closed, it will be thoroughly cleaned. All areas are being sanitized, including desks, door handles, and common areas. The building will remain closed until further notice. Do not return to the workplace until you are notified to do so. During this period there will be no disruption to your compensation and benefits. If you have questions, please contact your supervisor."
Kate Jay, spokesperson for Verizon confirmed that an employee at the facility tested positive for the coronavirus. In an email to WLTX, she wrote, "We immediately closed the facility for deep cleaning. We cannot share specifics regarding the individual, but in general, if an employee tests positive, we have immediate response protocols in place to assist the employee and others who may have come in contact with the person."
According to Verizon's website, the Elgin call center "has open seating with a mix of workspaces and offices. Many employees take advantage of mobile seating arrangement by sitting in a different seat daily or weekly."
What is the Coronavirus?
Conaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia. DHEC is working with CDC to identify all those who might have been in contact with these individuals. These people will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.
People can help to prevent the spread of the virus in the following ways:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. And, always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- stay home when you’re sick.
- cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and put it in the trash immediately.
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- get the influenza vaccine.
For residents concerned about their own personal health or are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal doctor or healthcare provider. DHEC has launched its Care Line. If residents have general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is here to help. Call 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call volume has been high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.