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City Reports 12 COVID Cases Among Staff

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By Jorge Casuso

July 21, 2021 -- A dozen Santa Monica City workers have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past two weeks, according to County Health data confirmed by the City.

Seven of the reported cases were among Big Blue Bus (BBB) workers whose jobs don't call for interacting with the public, City officials said Wednesday.

Another five cases were confirmed among staff in the Police Department, according to data reported by County Health officials Wednesday afternoon.

City spokesperson Constance Farrell confirmed the cases Wednesday night but did not have information available indicating whether the infected SMPD staff members interacted with the public.

"These cases reflect an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the County and in Santa Monica," Farrell said ("COVID Cases Surge in Santa Monica, as Deaths Remain Steady," July 20, 2021).

"We urge all community members to get vaccinated and to be diligent in wearing their masks," she added.

The City followed LA County Health Officer Order requirements and reported the cases to County Health officials, Farrell said.

"Throughout the pandemic, we’ve taken every measure to protect the health and safety of our dedicated essential workers," Farrell said.

"This includes daily health screenings, access to testing, PPE, and advanced cleaning protocols all in keeping with LA County Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines," she said.

On Tuesday, Farrell reported that the BBB personnel "are at home under isolation and will not be returning to work until isolation requirements have been completed and the City’s Infection Control Officer provides approval for return.

"The City’s Infection Control and BBB Safety teams conducted thorough contract tracing," she said. "All staff identified as close contacts have been notified and are quarantining at home."

The City has also "implemented augmented safety and infection control protocols for any City worksite with a cluster of COVID-19 cases," Farrell said.

These include canceling in-person meetings or events and requiring face masks to be worn when outdoors.

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