Wednesday afternoon, officials with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank (EPFHFB) announced that they had been made aware that a temporary worker tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
“We are in close contact with the Health Department and we continue to be low-risk for transmission at our facility,” said Susan Goodell, Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to take appropriate measures to keep our temporary workers, volunteers, employees and the community at-large are safe during these times. Our thoughts and prayers are with the volunteer and we hope for a speedy recovery.”
The temporary worker, who worked the processing line, was onsite April 6-8, wore personal protective equipment and followed all social distancing guidelines. The temporary worker’s last day at the Food Bank was 3 days before they began to feel ill.
When notified by the temporary worker, EPFHFB immediately contacted the City Health Department to get an assessment of the situation.
The City Health Department reviewed the procedures of the Food Bank facility, located at 9541 Plaza Circle, and thoroughly interviewed the temporary worker.
EPFHFB was assured they are following all PPE guidelines and that the Health Department considers the facility to be low-risk.
“The Office of Emergency Management and Department of Public Health has been working with the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank and other non-profit organizations, to help provide guidance on how to protect their employees and their clients while still meeting the critical needs to the community,” said Jorge Rodriguez, Assistant Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator. “The food bank has responded proactively to the Public Health Department’s guidance.”
EPFHFB is monitoring events and actions to continue to keep the facility, personnel and food safe at all times in order to continue to feed those in need.
So far, no employee has tested positive for COVID-19 and no employee has shown signs of the symptoms associated with the Coronavirus.
The Food Bank has the following procedures in place for safety:
Take temperature and health data upon entry to the facility; anyone who does not meet health guidelines is sent home.
Require gloves and masks for all personnel; employees, volunteers, and visitors.
Assign tasks in small groups with appropriate social distancing measures built in to the lines.
Maintain constant airflow through our 177,000 sq. ft. facility at all times.
Clean high contact surfaces multiple times daily.
Comprehensive cleaning of the facility at the end of every day.
Deep clean every weekend.
Have specific personnel assigned to monitor appropriate PPE use and help temporary workers, volunteers, staff and National Guard troops to maintain appropriate social distancing at all times.