WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – MAXIMUS says it’s closing Monday for cleaning after an employee is presumed to have tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement to ABC 36 News, the company says it’s stayed open because, “the critical nature of the Company’s work, many government clients have deemed certain of our program operations as “essential services” to ensure vulnerable citizens continue to receive assistance at a time when the need for healthcare and safety-net programs will be high.”
Now, it’s saying it needs to close to help keep employees safe.
An employee talked to ABC 36 about her experience. She says at the call center the desks are too close together and it’s an open work space, making her feel like it’s not a safe space during this health pandemic.
“I mean I like my job and everything, but at the same time, if they’re gonna do this and how they’re handling things. Is it really worth staying there,” said the employee.
She says last Monday employees were notified the call center was closing for sanitation but not if there was anyone who tested positive for the coronavirus. Then they were called back to work Thursday.
“A bunch of people were too scared to return, including myself,” she said.
Then she made a petition calling on employees to sign it. Regarlesss of the petition, Maximus says a an employee is presumed to test positive for COVID-19 and as of March 30 the center is closed.
In a letter to employees, MAXIMUS says employees will be notified individually if they were exposed to the specific employee.
“We have implemented an income protection plan that provides for paid leave for employees who incur COVID-19 related absences, such as quarantine, care for sick family members, or child care,” A spokesperson for MAXIMUS said.
“I have to provide for my family. At the same time, do I want to take the risk, and bring something that could possibly kill me and my family home,” said the employee.
It is unsure at this time when it will re-open.