- Two staff members in the IT department of a Florida county died of COVID-19 this week, the Bradenton Araldo reported.
- Three others in the department tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized.
- A sixth person in contact with those who were infected was vaccinated and did not contract the disease.
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Two staffers in a government IT department in Manatee County, Florida, have died of COVID-19 after a fire in their office, the county said Friday.
The first person died Monday at a local hospital, county administrator Scott Hopes said in the Bradenton Herald. A second person died Thursday at her home a day after she was diagnosed with the virus by a doctor, Hopes told the outlet.
According to the report, three other employees were hospitalized, and a sixth person who worked in close contact with infected people was vaccinated against COVID-19 and did not contract the virus.
All staff members who tested positive for the virus reported it before they had a sore throat, Speranza told the outlet.
None of the employees who became ill or died from COVID-19 were “elderly,” he said. Hope told Herald she feared the severe cases could be the result of one of i stronger variants of COVID-19.
The two people who died were both 50, according to the report. The youngest of the three others who were hospitalized with COVID-19 was in his “late 30s,” according to the report.
The count announced on his Facebook page Friday that he was closing his County Administration Building because “a number of COVID-19 cases have been reported among County employees.” Contextual health officials were working to trace contracts, the statement said.
The county building will remain closed until Monday for disinfection, the statement said.
“When our offices reopen, the COVID-19 security protocols will resume, including mandatory facial masks,” the post said.
The Manatee County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 in May to repeal the COVID-19 protocols, including the use of face masks, as Herald noted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also opened in May in a similar way he changed his guide and said vaccinated people didn’t need to wear masks in most parameters.
People who are not vaccinated should continue to wear masks, especially indoors, according to the CDC.
About 700 people were working in the building on a given day, but the fire has so far been contained to the IT department, which is on the seventh floor of the building, according to the report. The county is scheduled to offer Johson & Johson and Modern vaccinations to staff at a June 25 vaccination event.
According to CDC data, There were 158 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed last week in Manatee County. There were 17 new hospital admissions for COVID-19, a 70% increase over the previous week, according to the data.
About 50% of Manatee County residents are at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, according to CDC data. Just over 42% of county residents are fully vaccinated against the disease.