coronavirus

City of Chicago Employees Complain Of Lax Coronavirus Information

City workers complain that while the public is receiving precautions, employees are getting little guidance in their individual departments

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Some employees of the City of Chicago complain they have received almost no information about how to best safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus infection.

A spokesman for the mayor's office conceded she could provide no citywide communiques or emails about virus prevention that might have been sent out to city workers. She directed NBC 5 to a website, www.Chicago.gov/coronavirus, which she said department heads had been advised to share with their employees. That site features recommendations and tips for the general public, but nothing specific to city employees about precautions they should be taking in their own work areas, or procedures they should follow if they or a family member feel ill.

Spokeswoman Hali Levandoski responded that the same information should apply to workers and residents alike.

"Our messaging to employees does not differ from what we are saying to the general public," Levandoski said.

Still, workers say they find it ironic that at the same time Chicago officials are holding press conferences for the public, they are silent to the thousands of men and women who work in scores of offices, police stations, firehouses and other areas citywide.

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"The city has not sent any of its employees a single email about anything regarding corona virus prep, hand washing precautions, etc.," one employee complained to NBC5. "Our office does not even have paper towels in the bathroom and we have to use toilet paper or our own napkins to dry our hands. It's pretty bad and very frustrating!"

Photos: City Employees Complain Of Lax Coronavirus Information

Many city offices feature biometric scanners, which use fingerprints for entry. Some employees say this only adds to their concerns that they may be sharing germs with co-workers.

Levandoski told NBC 5 that on Tuesday, the city of Chicago did offer new internal guidance to employees about air travel. But she declined to share a copy of what that guidance entailed.

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