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Fighting For You: HGEA Demands Department of Public Safety to Notify Employees of All Potential COVID-19 Exposures

August 10, 2020

Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) is outraged that deputy sheriffs working at the Honolulu District Court Cellblock on Monday, Aug. 3 were exposed to a COVID-19 positive person in custody but were not informed of his condition by the Hawaii Department of Public Safety.  

Instead when deputy sheriffs saw news reports of a positive case of an OCCC inmate on Aug. 7 they conducted their own research and found that the individual had been at the Cellblock and in close contact with employees during a pat down search and while transporting the person to and from court interviews, which is routine for those in custody. It is irresponsible given the recent spread of the virus that the department would not inform those employees of the positive custody and provide adequate protection to its staff and ensure safety protocols were enforced. It is the responsibility of the Employer to ensure a safe working environment for its employees and in this instance PSD failed. 

HGEA demands that PSD urgently notify employees of all potential COVID-19 exposures, provide adequate protective equipment to employees who face possible exposure, and promptly implement thorough cleaning and sanitizing of all exposed areas and provide testing for exposed employees. As COVID-19 is surging and community spread is prevalent, exposures must be handled promptly and properly in order to stop the spread to PSD employees, their families and the public. 

READ: Deputy Sheriffs exposed to inmate with COVID-19 upset DPS didn't notify them

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