Wichita County employees breathe sigh of relief

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita County leaders approved a motion that will keep paying county employees who have to be in quarantine.

Any Wichita County employee or family member of that employee who is ordered to quarantine by a doctor or actually tests positive for COVID-19 will be eligible.

County judge Woody Gossom and the rest of the county commission say they want to be out in front of the curve.

“Everybody’s wondering… Am I going to get paid? And so what we did today is we set the guidelines, we followed the new federal directives, we’ve implemented those, we are going to pay our personnel,” Judge Gossom said.

“We want to make sure we’re ahead of that curve because we have a couple of impacted employees now that maybe have family issues that are being cautious, we want to continue to reassure them that we stand with them,” Wichita County commissioner precinct 1 Jeff Watts said.

With two county employees currently at home, commissioners court wanted to get this done to assure employees their paychecks won’t stop.

“Not have the worry on the employee, they don’t know how they’ll make ends meet because they become infected or there’s trouble within their family,” Watts said.

The added measure gives employees up to 80 days of pay, encouraging anybody not feeling well to stay at home during this time.

“We also wanted to make sure that we were giving them the option or giving them the ability to stay home if they’re sick, without fear of losing pay,” county commissioner precinct 4 Mark Beauchamp said. “The last thing we want to do is have people come up here and be infected, so we wanted to make sure they had that ability.”

Everyone is in the same uncharted waters with COVID-19, and for now, Judge Gossom said everyone needs to be on the same course until the storm subsides.

“Stay home and if you’re going to get paid for staying home, do your job and stay home, it’s as simple as that,” Gossom said.

County leaders said this action will give county employees one less thing to worry about in these worrisome times.

Now this decision is retroactive to March 16th and commissioners court will take another look at the policy in 30 days.

Commissioners also strongly urged employees not to travel outside the county unless absolutely necessary, and they approved Judge Gossom’s declaration of disaster last week.

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