El Campo City Hall closed its doors Wednesday, a safety precaution as a staff member is tested for the coronavirus sweeping the world.

Following the same procedures as when City Hall closed its doors in March, a full-service window is available to customers during regular hours, accessible via East Jackson Street.

“We are aware of potential exposure for our staff, but are awaiting test results. We do not have a sick employee waiting on results,” City Manager Courtney Sladek said.

The employee was tested Tuesday and “will not return to work until receiving results from the nasal swab test administered (Tuesday),” she added.

If the test is negative, doors will reopen to the public and, unless the Department of State Health Services requires a quarantine, the employee will be allowed to return to work.

The city has an action plan ready if the test comes back positive.

“(Wednesday’s) press release (from the Wharton County Office of Emergency Management) cited 14 new cases in Wharton County, that’s a record high. We need our citizens to take COVID seriously and exercise caution,” Sladek said.

All city workers wait for the pending result. They are monitoring themselves for any developing symptoms and taking basic precautions.

“Our message is still to follow the guidelines – wash hands, practice social distancing, wear a mask if that is not possible, and limit exposure as much as possible,” Sladek said.

City hall workers routinely take precautions now.

“For bill paying and questions regarding permits, there is a glass partition between our staff and our customers. For meetings, social distancing and masks are required,” Sladek said.

If the worker tests positive, additional staff testing will take place.

That staffer would not be allowed to return to work until the following criteria were met:

• At least 72 hours have passed since a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;

• Improvement in respiratory symptoms including cough and shortness of breath; and

• At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

“These apply to all personnel, including police and public works,” Sladek said.

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