COVID-19 detection closes Douglas County government office

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The Douglas County Transportation and Land Services Building in East Wenatchee.

EAST WENATCHEE — Douglas County’s main government building in East Wenatchee was ordered closed through Thursday for cleaning, after an employee there tested positive for COVID-19.

The Transportation and Land Services Building at 140 19th Street Northwest has been closed to the public with limited services offered since the coronavirus pandemic began in March. But even those services will cease until Friday morning while a contractor performs a deep cleaning, said records and risk manager Jordyn Giulio.

One person working in the building has tested positive for COVID-19, Giulio said. About 40 people work at the site, overseeing county road infrastructure, community development, building permits and other functions. Giulio would not specify the infected employee’s department.

The county, whose administrative seat is in Waterville, announced the sudden closure in a public notice about 3:30 p.m. County administrator Jim Barker confirmed a COVID-19 infection was the reason.

“We’ve been working very closely with Chelan-Douglas Health District, and the building closure really is out of an abundance of caution,” Giulio said. “We have a small facilities and maintenance staff, and in order to get the cleaning done as quickly and thoroughly as possible, we’re bringing in an outside contractor.”

The positive coronavirus case was discovered today, Giulio said. The health district said eight new infections were discovered in Douglas County on Tuesday, for a total of 408 known cases there. Chelan County has a reported 604 confirmed cases.

Giulio said while the TLS building has offered some services to the visiting public during the pandemic, access to the building is limited to a foyer with a phone and computer terminal, which are disinfected after each use.

“We are extremely committed to protecting the health and safety not only of our employees but of the public, which is why we are taking swift action,” she said.

The building is scheduled to reopen for limited public service at 7 a.m. Friday.