Recently, the West Transportation terminal experienced a rather large COVID-19 outbreak, in which several employees were affected. Employees have reported to the JESPA office that the administration and office were not wearing masks prior to the outbreak.
Because of a failure to communicate, other employees showed up to work in the terminal not knowing that the building was closed due to COVID-19.
The State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports on outbreak data, which is updated each Wednesday after the weekly outbreak surveillance report is published. https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid19-outbreak-data
The outbreak data for the West Transportation terminal shows 12 active cases among staff.
Executive Director Vicki Flores emailed Kristopher Schuh, Jeffco Superintendent and Julie Wilken, Director of Health Services and COVID-19 Incident Commander about the need to be transparent about district COVID-19 outbreaks and to publish data on the district’s dashboard.
Julie Wilken responded, “It is the law to report all outbreaks. The west transportation outbreak is now closed and no longer associated with any risks to any employee. The reason this is not identified on the Dashboard is because I will not agree to distinguish between staff and students or remote or in-person staff or students on a public facing website. Posting on a Dashboard an administrative building outbreak or a bus terminal site outbreak, immediately focuses the outbreak to the public directly on our staff. This is inappropriate to their privacy rights.”
JESPA believes that Jeffco staff have a right to know when there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in a building. Many of the members we represent work across many buildings and travel to sites without any knowledge of a COVID outbreak.
By hiding information that they are legally required to report anyway, the district is also violating the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding negotiated with both JESPA and JCEA.