After successfully keeping COVID-19 at bay for almost 18 months, Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro is experiencing its first outbreak, with two employees having tested positive.
The Henegan Road office is closed until further notice, says president Tim Curtis, but customers can still access staff, who are working from home by phone.
The line crew continues to work outside, he added.
All NOTL Hydro staff members are vaccinated, says Curtis, as are the two people who have tested positive for COVID.
One is a dad whose two children became infected at a Niagara Falls school. He was tested by Public Health, as were his children, when they began showing symptoms, and although all three were sick, they’re recovering, Curtis said.
The second employee tested negative with a rapid test on Friday, but positive on Monday. He is suspected to have contracted COVID at work from the first person, who had been home quarantining with his family for a few days.
Curtis says in addition to the vaccination policy, employees have been using the rapid antigen tests three times a week. The tests are supplied free by the NOTL Chamber of Commerce to small and medium-sized businesses, to help employers and employees protect each other at the workplace and those they may come in contact with. NOTL Hydro, which is owned by the Town of NOTL, has been using the tests to try to prevent infection spread.
All staff members had been tested by Tuesday morning, with some still awaiting results. Curtis had already received news of his negative test.
“We made the decision to close,” said Curtis. “We’re working under the direction of Public Health, but it was our decision. We’ll be relying on their guidance for next steps, and will make decisions with our focus on keeping this contained.”