Richmond and Lexington city employees in quarantine after positive case

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Lexington Dept. of Public Safety

RICHMOND/LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — The coronavirus is forcing entire departments in some cities to quarantine.

So what does a city do when an entire department is quarantined due to an employee testing positive for the coronavirus? Plan and adjust.

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That’s what the city of Richmond did before everyone in the public works department was forced to quarantine for two weeks.

The 21-member department handles, among other things; road repairs, potholes, picks up tree limbs and leaves, and helps with trash.

“We ask that citizens be patient with us while we try to cover these services and hopefully we’ll be back to full operation next Tuesday,” says City Manager Rob Minerich.

In the meantime, the city is covering with workers from the parks and recycling departments.

“It’s not unfamiliar territory for these people but it’ll run them a little thin with everything else they’re doing right now,” says Minerich.

But even with the temporary fill-ins the city says road repairs, pothole filling and fall paving projects will be delayed a week.

In Lexington, the city says six employees in the emergency management department are in quarantine.

The city says an employee’s positive test sent six co-workers home leaving only two in the department.

“We could pull from essentially any division in government,” says Keith Armstrong, Commissioner of Public Safety. “We have some plans to do that if needed, but we don’t think it will be.”

The city says the six in quarantine are working from home so the department’s primary operation, which is the mobile neighborhood COVID-19 testing program, will not be affected.

“The mayor and the council have been very proactive in making sure that our departments’ are ready to respond to any community needs if any of the divisions are affected by COVID like this,” says Armstrong.

The city of Lexington says since coronavirus tracking began, the fire department has had 28 people test positive – four are currently in isolation; 14 in the police department – no one is in isolation right now; and the jail has had 15 employees test positive – three are still in isolation.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.