Another employee from the Hattiesburg Fire Department has tested positive for COVID-19 after coming into contact with a coworker, making that individual the 10th city employee to test positive since March.
Samantha McCain, chief communications officer for the City of Hattiesburg, said this newest case is related to the positive case from the fire department that was reported on June 17. The employee has not been at work since the morning of June 19.
The newest employee to test positive and the five that work directly with that person were tested as indirect exposures to the June 17 case. Two of those tests have come back negative, while the final three are at home in self-isolation pending test results.
In addition to direct exposures to the latest case, nine employees have been traced as indirect exposure cases. These nine employees will be tested and continue to wear PPE at all times while at work.
The first positive case in the city was reported on March 30, when officials announced that an employee in Public Works tested positive for the virus. On April 3, it was discovered that an employee in Urban Development tested positive, and six days later the city reported another employee in Urban Development and an employee with the Hattiesburg Police Department had tested positive.
Another employee with the police department tested positive on April 28, followed by a fire department employee and a police department employee two days later. On May 4, the city announced and employee in the Grounds and Maintenance Division of Parks and Recreation had tested positive, and two days later it was confirmed another employee in that division was positive.
One city worker has died as a result of complications from the virus: Kévin Jordan, who served as the city’s housing coordinator in Urban Development. Jordan, 58, had worked for the city for 13 years.
McCain said the employee who tested positive on June 17 had served as a volunteer the previous Saturday during mask distribution at Fire Station No. 8 at 104 Lamar Blvd.
“The city’s health care partners have advised that due to the limited interaction between volunteers and the public, as well as the level of (personal protective equipment) worn during this event, that virus transfer probability is limited,” McCain said. “However, the city is asking any resident who picked up a mask on Saturday at Fire Station No. 8 … to self-monitor for symptoms and to test if needed.”
Below is a list of testing availabilities in Hattiesburg:
- CE Roy COVID-19 testing site, 300 East 5th St. Hours are from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This site conducts tests free of charge.
- Cough & Fever Clinic/curbside COVID testing, 5904 U.S. 49. Hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Merit Health Wesley Resident Clinic, 103 Asbury Circle. Phone number is (601) 268-5200.
- Trust Care, 6176 U.S. 98. Hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone number is (601) 475-0444.
SeMRHI Minor Care Clinic, 123 South 27th Ave. Hours are from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Phone number is (601) 450-3030.