Local employees at Baltimore City Hall have been instructed to get tested immediately before returning to work as an outbreak of COVID-19 has reportedly contaminated the second floor of the building that houses Baltimore’s governmental officials.
According to several sources from within the building, it was first reported to a select number of high-ranking officials, including the Mayor, that a janitor from within the facility had contracted the deadly disease that has shutdown the world over the past six months, and may have spread the virus to other employees and parts of the facility. Those reports surfaced late last night as employees from within City Hall were instructed to get tested for the virus immediately before reporting back to the building.
And while parts of City Hall have been closed, it remains unclear if the entire building is being shuttered and if the contamination was contained to just one floor of the building. (The second floor houses the Mayor’s Office, and the Board of Estimates – the three-member spending panel consisting of the Mayor, City Council President, and the Comptroller)
However, it appears as if the outgoing Comptroller Joan Pratt has instructed her employees to return to work immediately after getting tested for COVID, regardless of the “outbreak”. This comes as no surprise to some as several employees of the Comptroller’s Office have complained that while all other city employees have been teleworking over the past few months, as have most other government officials, Pratt reportedly made her employees report to City Hall everyday since the outbreak forced government officials to issue emergency orders prohibiting and restricting certain activities.
According to several Pratt employees, the disgruntled Comptroller who lost her job during the closely contested democratic primaries back in June, didn’t trust that her employees would actually work from home, so she made them report to work for the past few months even while other city employees worked from home. And now, with no confirmed remedy put in place to ensure employees will be safe to return to City Hall after the latest confirmed case(s) of COVID-19, she is once again demanding her employees to return to work immediately after getting tested.
Calls to city officials have gone unanswered as to the number of employees confirmed to have contracted the Coronavirus, or to the protocol or procedures put in place since learning of the outbreak. We will update this story when more is revealed.