SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — The entire maintenance crew at a large San Jose park has been quarantined because of a possible exposure to the coronavirus.
Sources tell KPIX that a worker at Lake Cunningham Park tested positive for the virus and was in close contact with co-workers, possibly in violation of safety protocols.
“This is the first time an entire crew has been affected this way,” said Mary Blanco, a union rep with Operating Engineers, Local 3.
Blanco said workers at Lake Cunningham repeatedly raised concerns that park supervisors were not following the city’s own safety precautions.
“They weren’t doing any screenings in the morning like they were supposed to be doing at this park, and they were not supposed to be meeting indoors,” Blanco said.
She told KPIX 5 that park workers said in-person staff meeting were held in a small conference room at the park headquarters. The workers were wearing masks but could not socially distance. Other workers would eat lunch together inside the room in close proximity.
“I’ve been working with this department since May, and they just aren’t taking it seriously.”
The Parks Department confirmed that 14 workers have been quarantined, but officials did not respond to questions about safety procedures not being followed.
As for the park’s current status, spokesperson Carolina Camarena said, “It’s important to note that employees do not generally have contact with
the public and the park remains open.”
Trash can be seen piling up next to trash bins in the park.
Park visitor Ysidro Juarez, who regularly runs at the park, said he still feels safe there, but is surprised so many workers were sent home.
“This is such a great city and I’m just hoping they weren’t holding the meetings indoors. But if they were, that shows a lack of leadership somewhere in the chain,” said Juarez.
Sources tell KPIX 5 that San Jose Parks and Rec supervisors asked for volunteers from other parks to fill in for the crew at Lake Cunningham Park. But when no one volunteered, workers were picked at random.