COVID-19 patient’s workplace identified

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Work Services Corporation has nearly 40 openings between Wichita Falls and Lawton.

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — UPDATE: One of Wichita Falls’ coronavirus cases has been identified as an employee for Work Services Corporation. While WSC has employees that work at various sites, including Sheppard Air Force Base, this employee works at WSC headquarters on Hatton Road.

The employee who tested positive for the coronavirus returned from Seattle on March 7 with no symptoms. After several days at home, the employee returned to work and experienced shortness of breath on March 17. The employee had minimal exposure to other employees, but 6 employees have been told to self-quarantine by the Wichita Falls Health Department.

“After that happened, we’ve been coordinating very closely with the health department to let them know the procedures that we’ve had in place,” Work Services Corporation president and CEO David Toogood said. “We were pleased that their response back to us is that there’s nothing really more that we could’ve done at this point.”

Another case of COVID-19 in Wichita Falls is further proof that this virus is silent and deadly.

“The virus is typically very quiet when it first infects somebody,” United Regional Physician Group family medicine physician Dr. Jeffrey Swanson said. “For one or two days, they may have no symptoms but they actually can pass the virus onto others.”

WSC is doing what they can to make sure the coronavirus doesn’t spread.

“One of the things we did is we tried to shut down and stop any non-essential business operations,” Toogood said. “But the fact of the matter is many of our services on Sheppard are essential business operations.”

WSC’s employees who work at headquarters are working from home today as the building is health-grade sanitized by a certified vendor. Top WSC officials will decide this weekend on how headquarters will operate as the country and the world continue to battle the coronavirus. But local health officials have a word for all businesses during this time.

“I would recommend they look at what they provide and see if its something that’s gonna help the community and what we’re dealing with or if what they’re providing is gonna amplify the spread of the virus,” Swanson said.

When Toogood was asked about workers at other sites in the site and Oklahoma, he said none of those employees showed any signs of infections. Since WSC employs people that are at a higher risk because they have disabilities, they are asked to take all necessary precautions.

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Work Services Corporation (WSC) received notice from the Wichita County Public Health District on Thursday evening that a WSC employee received a positive test for COVID-19 according to a press release sent out Friday morning.

The employee had returned from travel to Seattle, Washington, on March 7, 2020, and spent several days at home before returning to work with no symptoms.

The individual works in a cubicle in the headquarters building at 1343 Hatton Rd and has limited contact with employees other than those who work in the same room.

The employee adhered to company procedures by performing frequent hand washing, sanitization of work surfaces and equipment, and social distancing. On Tuesday, March 17th, the employee experienced shortness of breath and immediately left the premises.

Six people were identified as having moderate risk of exposure due to their proximity. All have been notified and are coordinating with the health district to immediately begin voluntary self-quarantine until March 31.

In close coordination with the health district, WSC has closed its headquarters facility and has coordinated for health-grade sanitization from a certified vendor.

Employees who work in that facility are being notified and asked to remain home on Friday and to closely monitor for symptoms of fever and shortness of breath.

WSC will continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and decide over the weekend what additional measures will be implemented.

All WSC employees are urged to strictly adhere to CDC guidance, follow company protocols, and take prompt action at the first sign of symptoms.

Employee questions should be directed to supervisors or the Vice President of Human Resources at (940) 386-1980.

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