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Elkins working to limit city employee interaction

ELKINS — The City of Elkins Operations Department has begun to limit employee interaction by dividing various work crews into smaller groups in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Bob Pingley, Operations Manager for the city, stated that this is one of many steps that are being taken to maintain continuous city services in a safe manner.

“Throughout all departments, we’ve limited non-essential contact and visitors and emphasized good hygiene and infection-control procedures,” Pingley told The Inter-Mountain.

“Where possible, we’ve also taken the step of dividing departments into separate, minimum crews that work different days.

“The purpose of this step is to minimize the risk that one exposure could effectively force a whole department to be quarantined at the same time,” Pingley said.

“This type of step is especially important at our water and wastewater treatment plants, because we have to have licensed, qualified operators to staff them.”

Pingley said this type of separation is not possible with certain departments, such as sanitation, as it takes all available employees to maintain service.

Sutton Stokes, external affairs specialist for the city, said officials have been “thinking in terms of who needs to be in contact with each other and what sort of separation you can have to reduce the chances of at-work transmission,” in accordance with guidance from the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

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