Pre-duty screenings will be standard for all Seneca County employees before starting work each day.
It didn’t come easy, but the Seneca County Board of Supervisors utilized a ‘Rule 29’ proceeding to bypass committee – where two supervisors voted against the measure – temporarily stopping it.
The new policy says that employees will have their temperature taken before working. They will also have to attest that they have not had symptoms, or knowingly came into contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
It’ll be tracked within a wellness log, which is standard among many employers. The policy came from the County’s COVID-19 task force, and went before the Board of Supervisors’ Personnel Committee.
Personnel officer Chris Wagner said it was a matter of consistency. “We feel that to be consistent, everyone should follow the same protocol when reporting for work to reduce the spread of the virus,” he told the committee, before the measure was ultimately shot down.
Committee Chair Mike Ferrara voted in favor of it, but Supervisors Ron McGreevy and Ernie Brownell opposed, which prompted the Rule 29 proceeding.
“It would be embarrassing and tragic if there was an outbreak among county employees while we’re telling the public what they should be doing to protect themselves,” Ferrara said.
Before the full-board voted on the measure, Supervisor McGreevy shared his view of the measure. “I feel this resolution is too invasive,” he began. “It’s too restrictive and I question whether the next step will be requiring lie detector tests for employees when they come in to make sure they are telling the truth about being symptomatic or asymptomatic. I see no end to this. It’s too invasive for the employees of this county.”
Supervisor Don Trout joined McGreevy and Brownell in opposing the policy, but it wasn’t enough to defeat it.