Grant PUD's Incident Command Team and I decided this week to take the prudent action of closing all Grant PUD facilities to the public. Until further notice, only Grant PUD employees required to provide on-site, mission-critical functions will report to their normal work locations. We are also taking the advice of public health officials to create work from home options where possible.
We've taken these measures to keep the public and our employees as safe as possible from the potential impacts of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
We have learned that one of our contract employees has had prolonged contact with a person exposed to COVID-19 while attending an out-of-state business conference. Both the contract employee and the person who was exposed to the virus are showing flu-like symptoms. The contract employee has interacted with several of our own regular employees. In an apparent unrelated case, another Grant PUD employee is showing flu-like symptoms. Both the contract employee and the regular employee are working with their health care providers to determine the cause of their illnesses. To date, we have not been informed by Grant County Health District officials that any of our employees or the contractor has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
We're hoping for the best, but are taking action to reduce the risks of COVID-19 so it does not compromise the integrity of our services.
Our electric and fiber-optic services are absolutely critical to the people and industry of Grant County and the region. Our dams must continue to pass river flows, provide fish passage and generate power for our region. Our electric system must continue to deliver power. Our fiber-optic network is essential for fast, reliable communications and internet.
Every one of our employees is absolutely essential to the success of Grant PUD. Employees who must remain at their posts to ensure critical utility functions will be provided the supplies necessary to stay healthy on the job and avoid the spread of germs, following public health guidelines and PUD protocols.
Upon consultation with public health experts, we believe that our action of social distancing is one of the best ways to protect them.
Most of the rest of us will work from home and be available to head into work if required. Those who are unable to work from home will receive paid administrative leave until we can all return.
We ask for your patience as we work through this. Considering the uncertainty of COVID-19, we're sure these precautionary measures are the right ones for customer and employee safety and to keep providing you with our vital services.
- Kevin Nordt, Grant PUD general manager