An employee at Vancouver City Hall shared a cruise ship with a passenger later diagnosed with COVID-19.
The employee, whose name is not being released, was notified Thursday morning that the cruise ship they had disembarked from 13 days previously had also included a passenger later found to have the infectious disease, part of the coronavirus family. The cruise included about 2,500 passengers.
“After receiving notification this morning, our employee promptly notified supervisors of the situation,” Carol Bua, Vancouver’s communications manager, wrote in an email. The employee also immediately went home, she added.
The employee did not report any flu-like symptoms associated with COVID-19 since the trip, but did report a “runny nose” Thursday morning, Bua said. The employee is currently working with their health care provider to determine whether a coronavirus test is necessary.
The timing of the employee’s eventual return will follow “health care recommendations,” Bua added.
A cleaning crew sanitized the employee’s work area later that day, as well as common areas of City Hall and “high-touch” areas like door handles, elevator buttons and stair rails.
“We have notified tenants in City Hall and Clark County Health. Additionally, as our employee appeared at the Clark County Courthouse in the 13 days since their return from the cruise, we have notified Clark County,” Bua said.
“We will be closely monitoring the situation here at City Hall and staying in contact with our employee.”
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, the Washington State Department of Health reported that 70 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Washington, including 11 fatalities. An additional 231 people are under public health supervision.
No cases have been identified in Clark County, although eight people are awaiting results after taking the test on Monday or Tuesday.