PITTSFIELD — Amid a deluge of recent coronavirus infections within the metropolis over the previous a number of days, an area well being official mentioned Friday the town discovered 5 Walmart employees examined optimistic for COVID-19.
Town first grew to become conscious of the primary of the optimistic circumstances amongst Walmart workers on Tuesday, mentioned Dr. Alan Kulberg, chair of the town’s Board of Well being.
Subsequent contact tracing led well being leaders to the conclusion that 4 workers went to a non-public gathering the place transmission occurred.
“We imagine that this gathering was the situation the place transmission occurred amongst plenty of folks,” mentioned Kulberg, including that the “was not at work nor was it sanctioned by Walmart.”
Kulberg mentioned a fifth optimistic case was recognized on Friday, an individual whom he described as a “contracted” worker for Walmart.
On Tuesday, in the future earlier than he would check optimistic for the virus, that particular person went to work at each the Walmart in North Adams and the Walmart in Pittsfield, in response to Kulberg. Kulberg mentioned the particular person took care of “managerial work” on the North Adams department on Tuesday, when he would have been contagious.
The particular person was additionally on the Pittsfield department on Tuesday, and Kulberg mentioned he was within the retailer’s electronics space for about 20 minutes. The contracted worker observed his signs whereas at work.
“He grew to become symptomatic on Tuesday at work, and when he began feeling fatigued he left work, and obtained examined on Wednesday, and subsequently examined optimistic,” mentioned Kulberg.
Kulberg mentioned the contracted worker “would have been contagious on Tuesday when he was there” however “in neither retailer did he really feel like he was in shut contact for any vital time period.”
“It sounds, at this level, like he didn’t have any shut contacts at both retailer, however we’re going to be pursuing who he was in touch with,” Kulberg added.
Stephanie Fournier, Walmart’s regional ethics and compliance director, defined the corporate’s coronavirus worker screening course of intimately to the town’s Interim Nurse Supervisor Pat Tremblay, who Kulberg mentioned is filling in for Kayla Winters quickly.
Kulberg was conscious of speak on social media that advised the confirmed worker case rely on the Pittsfield retailer was greater, however mentioned Friday that the town had solely linked 5 circumstances to the department.
No well being and security violations had been recognized on the Pittsfield retailer by the town, mentioned Kulberg. Lead inspector Andy Cambi is conscious of the scenario, he mentioned.
Walmart company didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Saturday.
In the meantime, the town is contending with a windfall of newly reported infections — 199 of them over the 5 days ending on Friday, Mayor Linda Tyer mentioned throughout an deal with on PCTV that day.