SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — An employee working in the 911 call center of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a department spokesman said Thursday night.

The employee, who was not identified, began showing symptoms Friday, March 20 — the last day the worker was on the job.

911 Call Center in S.F.

The 911 call center at the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management photographed in Aug., 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

“Community spread of COVID-19 is our national reality. This why it is important that everyone adhere to the public health order to stay home. Doing so protects ourmost vulnerable residents and those who must continue work to keep us safe during this global pandemic,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, in a statement emailed to KPIX Thursday evening.

The Department of Emergency Management has been implementing enhanced cleaning measures at both the 911 dispatch center and the emergency operations center. Also, the emergency operations center has been relocated to Moscone Center to facilitate social distancing for employees.

It is unknown if the employee contracted the virus at work or in the community but the operations and dispatch centers will remain in operation, according to the department statement.

Statement on Department of Emergency Management Employee Testing Positive for COVID-19

The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management received confirmation that an employee in the 911 Dispatch Operations Center has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The employee was last at work on Friday, March 20th, and started exhibiting the first symptoms later that day.

“Department of Emergency Management personnel are essential to keeping San Franciscans safe every day,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. “Community spread of COVID-19 is our national reality. This why it is important that everyone adhere to the public health order to stay home. Doing so protects our most vulnerable residents and those who must continue work to keep us safe during this global pandemic.”

Shortly after San Francisco’s declaration of local emergency, the Department of Emergency Management implemented enhanced cleaning measures at our facility which include the 9-1-1 Dispatch Operations Center and the Emergency Operations Center. These measures include cleaning of common surface areas every two hours and protocols and supplies to wipe down stations after each use. Social distancing occurs where appropriate including cancellation of group briefings and isolating dispatchers who may be part of a vulnerable population. Nonessential personnel are prohibited from entering the 9-1-1 Dispatch Operations Center. San Francisco also relocated the City’s Emergency Operations Center to the Moscone Center in order to achieve social distancing for emergency managers and disaster service workers responding to the global pandemic.

The Department of Emergency Management has reached out to personnel who may have had contact with the infected employee. We continue to work with the Department of Public Health to enhance COVID-19 mitigation measures where appropriate. It is unknown if the employee contracted the virus at work or in the community. Further information about the employee will not be released in order to protect medical privacy. San Francisco’s 9-1-1 Dispatch Operations Center and Emergency Operations Center will continue to provide essential services to protect the health and safety of all San Franciscans.

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