City of Cornwall worker sickness not outside norm during pandemic

Cornwall Human Resources Manager Geoff Clarke speaks to some city councillors -- others on the phone -- during a meeting on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Clarke says the rates of sickness have not been unusually high as the area enters its fourth week of the global COVID-19 pandemic. (YouTube/City of Cornwall via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – The head of Cornwall’s human resources department says the recent rates of sickness among city employees are not unusually high, even while into the fourth week of the coronavirus pandemic.

Geoff Clarke updated city council Tuesday afternoon during an update on COVID-19 measures. Council was hearing from all senior managers with the exception of Cornwall Fire Services and infrastructure, since those departments have little information to share.

Clarke says, as of Monday, there were 112 people off sick for various reasons – most of those from Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge. Seventy-four have returned to work while 30 or so are still off.

The HR manager added that eight City of Cornwall employees have been tested for COVID-19 – all cases came back negative.

Coun. Maurice Dupelle asked about the redeployment of city staff to the lodge and whether that was the best practice given social distancing measures.

Clarke made it clear that the workers were not an addition but filling vacancies – doing cleaning, laundry and maintenance work. They were taking the pressure off lodge workers so they could concentrate on patients.

“It’s been quite successful,” he said.

The meeting continues this evening.

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