The Human Services Branch of the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) confirms that one public employee at the Porterville District Office, located at 1055 West Henderson Avenue, Suite 3, in Porterville, has tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee began to show symptoms and notified a supervisor.
The County has instructed all employees during this time that they should not come to work if they show any symptoms of illness. The Agency has closed the location for cleaning and is notifying all members of its workforce with whom the infected employee may have had contact. The Agency had begun to limit the number of employees working at each of its sites in March, which has limited exposure to other County employees. Additionally, public access to this office has remained closed since March 23, 2020.
It is not unexpected that employees may become ill as COVID-19 continues to spread in throughout the county. The HHSA has protocols in place to address this and similar situations involving employees who become ill. These protocols include: asking employees to stay home if they show any symptoms, reporting any symptoms that develop during working hours, asking non-essential employees to work from home, maintaining sufficient social distancing in the workplace, and consistently using excellent hygiene and cleaning practices.
With the Porterville District Office expected to be temporarily closed, those needing services through TulareWORKs can contact the call center at 1-800-540-6880.
The Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency is diligent about the protection of patient privacy, in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and for this reason we cannot release any other information about the affected employee. The information released about the positive COVID-19 cases in Tulare County is carefully curated to provide useful information to our community members, while also excluding information that would lead to the identification of affected persons. This is a protection, provided by law, that is extended to everyone.
In addition, everyone is encouraged to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are sick or instructed to isolate/quarantine by a medical or public health professional.