The City of Durango and San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) have identified a COVID-19 outbreak within the Utilities Department. The Collections and Distribution Division had three staff members test positive the week of March 22. The division maintains all the water and sewer pipes throughout the city. The employees work in manholes, meter pits and typically not in a home or business.
The department is conducting extra cleaning and sanitation of work areas and vehicles and taking other precautions such as staggering schedules in locker rooms and break rooms and having the same employees work together during shifts. All Collections and Distribution Division staff have been encouraged to get tested for COVID-19.
"Being short staffed put a strain on operations, but we have reprioritized work to manage the situation," Assistant Utilities Director Jarrod Biggs said. "We hope to be fully staffed next week provided staff members continue to meet return-to-work safety protocols."