Beaver Co. commissioners deny allegations of not creating safe work environment, but some employees disagree

Beaver Co. commissioners deny allegations of not creating safe work environment, but some employees disagree

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — Beaver County employees are speaking out and concerned after 35 of their colleagues tested positive for COVID-19 and another 63 employees are in quarantine.

They said the county isn’t doing enough to protect them and doesn’t have clear and consistent COVID-19 workplace policies.

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“I love being able to help someone, but how are we helping someone when we, too, are exposing them? Is it morally correct? Because I feel as though it’s against what we’re supposed to stand for,” said Beaver County employee Amanda Morelli-Blanda.

Courthouse employees said they fear widespread community spread from exposure at their workplace.

“Maybe closing the courthouse to the public, having drop-off boxes or something,” said employee Rose Simon.

Morelli-Blanda also goes home to a high-risk teenage daughter with special needs. But at work, she said some people refuse to wear masks, and she has no option to work from home.

“I have another daughter, a 5-year-old, who has to go get a test tomorrow because she’s showing symptoms,” Morelli-Blanda said.

“Her boss walked around her office the other day after being exposed to someone who tested positive. He won’t wear a mask,” employee Joe Mann said.

County commissioners addressed these allegations directly.

“I’m highly offended and categorically refute every single word,” said Beaver County Commissioner Jack Manning.

“A good deal of these employees who tested positive or are quarantining are due to outside social events,” said Beaver County Commissioner Daniel Camp.

They said their commitment to the health and safety of county employees and the community has never wavered.

But outspoken employees strongly disagree.

“It’s not only disheartening, it’s defeating,” Mann said. “We’re not given the opportunity to be heard.”

County commissioners strongly refute those claims. They said about 25% of the COVID-19 cases among county employees are from socializing outside of work.

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