Some of The Kerrville Daily Times staff have been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, along with an abundance of caution, the employees who came into contact with the person are in self-quarantine for the next 14 days.
At least three employees who came into contact with the person have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results.
The person who tested positive does not work directly for The Daily Times, but was a visitor from Houston.
That person was in Kerrville for two days – March 16-17. The person tested positive on Monday and is at home in the Houston area recovering under a doctor’s supervision.
At no point did the infected person have contact with any workers in the press, mailroom, or contracted carriers. The Centers for Disease Control said COVID-19 is not transmittable through newsprint, paper or another type of packaging, including the mail.
The Daily Times’ employees were told late Monday afternoon about the exposure by Publisher Carlina Villalpando.
“After receiving notice of possible exposure, we informed our employees immediately, Villalpando said. “Their health and well-being are our top priority, and we felt they should have the necessary information to notify their loved ones and consult with their doctors.”
Villalpando also contacted state and local health officials, and state officials have been in contact with the newspaper to trace the activity of the COVID-positive person while in Kerrville.
Prior to the notice of exposure, the newspaper had closed its lobby to visitors on Monday, urging the public to call for assistance, or visit its website to make subscription changes or payments.
As a result of the exposure, the newspaper’s news staff and others, will be working from home for the foreseeable future.
“Our team has taken many steps to quarantine those who may have been impacted by this exposure and set up remote work environments for others to maintain safe self-distancing recommendations,” Villalpando said.
The newspaper will continue both in print and online and remains committed to informing the community even as its own staff takes precaution against the spread of the virus, Villalpando said.
A handful of newspaper administrative personnel remain in the office to take phone calls and assist the public.
“We have always maintained a clean office, but we strengthened our policies and began frequent disinfection of our individual work and shared spaces even before we learned of this exposure,” Villalpando.