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Monterey County

What to do if co-worker tests positive for Covid-19

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CASTROVILLE, Calif. (KION) As numbers of coronavirus cases increase on the Central Coast, there is growing concern about what to do if someone you work with tests positive for Covid-19.

For essential workers, the threat of the coronavirus has not gone away and one Monterey county man worries he has to choose between his job or his health.

A man, who is going by the name Daniel to protect himself from any retaliation because of this story, says his co-worker at the Santa Fe supermarket in Castroville has tested positive for the coronavirus.

"They didn't tell us if we had contact or not. They didn't tell us who it was. they just told us to act like nothing happened basically," says Daniel.

Daniel says on June 28th he was notified by Santa Fe management that someone at the business tested positive for Covid-19 and that it's his responsibility to be tested. However, he was not told who tested positive, or if he had any contact with that person.

"I feel like that's their responsibility, I mean we're their workers. We're working under their store, they should probably take that responsibility of checking in on their workers, making sure none of them are infected," says Daniel.

Daniel says he was also told if he takes time off from work due to concerns about contracting the Covid-19, he may not have a job when he returns.

"I was telling them that I didn't really feel comfortable working in there because who knows, maybe somebody else is infected but we don't know because they don't want us to get tested and they said well you can stay home if you want, but you just wont have your job when you get back," says Daniel.

KION called the corporate offices of the Santa Fe supermarket chain, but have yet to hear back. KION has also reached out to OSHA to see what rights employees have if someone they work with tests positive for Covid-19, but have not heard back.

According to their health guidance, employers should implement work
policies that encourage sick employees to stay home with paid time off,
increased sick leave, and job protection for those staying home.

Also, the Department of Labor's "Families First Coronavirus Response Act"
requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave
or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to
Covid-19.

The California Health Department did not respond to our request for comment, but did forward us to their website that has some helpful information about Covid-19 in the workplace.

This comes as Governor Gavin Newsom announced in a news conference today that a strike team will be designated to six regions in the stat targeting companies who are not complying with health orders.

"One should not have to put their life at risk to go to work as an essential worker," says Newsom.

Central Coast / Coronavirus / Health / News / Top Stories
Author Profile Photo

Max Tarlton

Max Tarlton is a morning anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.

Ricardo Coronado

Ricardo Coronado is an MMJ for Telemundo 23.

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