SCHENECTADY — The city garbage truck operator who tested positive for coronavirus has returned to work, Mayor Gary McCarthy said Friday.
Eight workers were initially placed in quarantine as a precautionary measure, a number reduced to six by Friday, according to county spokesperson Erin Roberts. One remains in isolation.
From the worker who tested positive, there are an additional four quarantines and one isolation unconnected to the department.
The eight sidelined workers constitute about 25 percent of the 35 employees trained to provide those services, including seasonal employees.
McCarthy said the reductions did not affect waste collection or recycling operations.
“Garbage has been picked up every day,” McCarthy said.
Commissioner of General Services Paul LaFond said the city has safeguards in place to ensure proper coverage if workers are quarantined.
“We have other departments that come in to assist,” LaFond said.
Workers in the city's Bureau of Services with the same title can be shuffled around to different assignments, LaFond said.
“We haven’t fallen behind in any waste collection.”
The Times Union first reported the worker didn’t come to work on July 20 after feeling sick. Results from a test taken earlier that weekend ultimately proved to be positive.
LaFond said workers are provided hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment, and are required to report if feeling any symptoms before each shift.
Schenectady County announced its 43th death from the virus on Friday, a woman in her 80s who was not a nursing home or adult care facility resident.
Countywide, there are 95 current lab-confirmed positive cases, and 755 potentially-exposed people are under quarantine.