By Beth David, Editor
Fairhaven town hall will be closed to the public and to employees until Monday, 7/27, for sanitizing after an employee tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
In a press release on Monday, 7/20, the town said an asymptomatic employee tested positive from a test he or she got for a “routine” matter. The Neighb News has since learned that the employee was tested before a medical procedure.
The town also sent an update on 7/21, after receiving inquiries from concerned residents who had used town hall and were concerned that the town did not release the name of the department the employee works in. In the update the town said that the employee worked in a “non-public office that is available by appointment only.”
“The Department of Public Health (DPH) Epidemiology unit was notified immediately upon notice of the positive case, contact tracking protocols were followed, and all individuals (employees and the public alike) have been or will be notified and advised of their self-quarantining obligations in accordance with the DPH’s guidance,” reads the statement.
In a phone interview, Town Administrator Mark Rees said that although the building is closed, employees are working from home. He said resident should call the office they need and leave a message, or send an email. Employees will get back to them.
“The building is closed to public,” said Mr. Rees. “But the previous protocol for working from home is in place.”
Town Hall offices contact information can be found on the Town website (www.Fairhaven-MA.gov) under the respective department. Any business matters that require face-to-face interaction will resume once Town Hall offices reopen. The dropbox remains available to use at the entrance of Town Hall.
According to the statement, the deep-cleaning and sanitizing have been completed. Town hall is remaining closed pending the completion of contact tracing.
Board of Health chairperson Peter DeTerra took to Facebook to complain that he was not notified that an employee tested positive for the virus. BOH member Michael Ristuccia also voiced the same complain in phone interview.
Mr. Rees said that he notified the Department of Public Health and would not comment on the complaints by the BOH members.
In a phone interview, Mr. Ristuccia also criticized Mr. Rees saying he let the town hall be open for too long after knowing about the case.
Mr. Rees said he closed the town hall as soon as he could and would not comment any further.
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