In a memorandum to employees of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Wednesday afternoon, Executive Director Lawrence Kupfer confirmed that two employees in the St. Croix district have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, WAPA said Wednesday.
The authority said that immediately upon notification of the positive results, its Human Resources Department and Incident Command team responded and began executing all necessary precautionary measures. “At this time, all employees known to have potentially been in direct contact with the infected employees or who have worked in close proximity to the employee’s workspaces have been notified, scheduled for preliminary testing, requested to quarantine, and asked to contact the Department of Health’s EPI Hotline as per our established COVID-19 protocols. In addition, action has been taken to isolate and sanitize the affected workspaces,” Mr. Kupfer wrote.
The two employees, one each from the electric and water systems, apparently contracted the virus through sources within the community, WAPA said. One employee came to an isolated workplace and did not have direct contact with other employees. The second is an employee who has been primarily on telework and had entered a WAPA facility more than a week ago. Again, out of an abundance of caution, eleven persons who work in and around the work areas of the employees or who may have been in contact with the employees having contracted the virus have been scheduled for testing.
Mr. Kupfer said as a company, WAPA continues its vigilance in maintaining the safety of the workplace for both its employees and customers. “Until our community has flattened the COVID-19 curve, we must do our part each day to keep ourselves and our families safe," he said.
He also offered reassurances that these confirmed cases will have no effect on WAPA’s ability to provide service to the community. “Many months of planning have gone into the development of contingency plans that are designed to ensure we meet our obligations to the community by providing electric and water services during the most trying of circumstances.”
“Finally, all of us at WAPA, wish our fellow employees a speedy recovery,” Mr. Kupfer said.