Two employees test positive for COVID-19 at Fulton courts office

Two employees at the Fulton County Clerk of Courts office in downtown Atlanta tested positive for COVID-19, but the office was never closed to the public following the test results.

A limited number of staff worked in the clerk’s office alongside one of the sick employees, and members of the public visited the office where the employee worked, according to an email from Chief Deputy Clerk and Media Affairs Manager Nicholas Cotten. He said the public was never in contact with the employee.

The clerk of courts office is required to remain open for regular business while others are closed due to the statewide judicial emergency order. Cotten said the office has been using social distancing for safety and has had a deep cleaning since learning of the sick employee. The office operated on a five-day rotation schedule of employees teleworking from home from May to mid-June. Cotten said the employee tested positive after they started back working in the office on a daily basis.

Both employees of the clerk’s office are now self-isolating at home, Cotten said. Only one had worked in the office while ill before learning of the positive test results. That person saw a doctor while feeling sick and came to work with a doctor’s note, Cotten said.

“(The) employee assumed they only had a mild case of bronchitis and reported to work against Fulton County policy and clerk’s office recommendations to staff of ‘staying home if feeling ill with any COVID symptoms,’” Cotten said.

The other employee tested positive during their teleworking rotation at home.

Cotten said the offices underwent a deep cleaning with anti-viral products before its initial reopening phase on June 15. The disinfectant is said to be effective in killing COVID-10 for a period of 14 days. The employees’ positive results were reported 10 days after the office had reopened for business, Cotten said.

One of the employees discussed their illness on social media, saying they tested negative a week before being rushed to the hospital and testing positive.

Cotten said there are reported cases of staff testing postive for the coronavirus in other departments at the Fulton County Justice Center, however he didn’t have any further information.

In June, Georgia Supreme Court extended the judicial emergency order on the suspension of nonessential court functions until midnight July 12.