Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency confirmed on Monday one public employee at the TulareWORKs District Office, located at 458 East O’Neal Ave. in Tulare, has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee began to show symptoms and notified a supervisor.
The County has instructed all employees during this time they shouldn’t come to work if they show any symptoms of illness. The Agency has closed the location for cleaning and is notifying all members of its workforce with whom the infected employee may have had potential contact.
The Agency had begun to limit the number of employees working at each of its sites in March, which has limited exposure to other county employees. Additionally, public access to this office has remained closed since March 23.
It’s not unexpected employees may become ill as COVID-19 continues spreading throughout the community. The HHSA has protocols in place to address this and similar situations involving employees who become ill. These protocols include: asking employees to stay home if they show any symptoms, reporting any symptoms that develop during working hours, asking non-essential employees to work from home, maintaining sufficient social distancing in the workplace, and consistently using extensive hygiene and cleaning practices.
With the Tulare District Office expected to be temporarily closed, those needing services through TulareWORKs can contact the call center at 1-800-540-6880.
The Agency is diligent about the protection of patient privacy, in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and for this reason information about the affected employee can’t be released. The information released about the positive COVID-19 cases in Tulare County is carefully curated to provide useful information to community members, while also excluding information that would lead to the identification of affected persons. This is a protection, provided by law, that’s extended to everyone.