Who would have thought that a centre used to send information to the masses about precautions surrounding COVID- 19 would wind up being a place where an individual is now a confirmed case?
Well, maybe the three staff members who were transferred from ABS after making posts on their social media pages about the studio being crowded as the government- owned media entity hosted Carnival Countdown could offer some details. I jest but I’m sure those staff members are now breathing a sigh of relief especially given that two of those staff members would have worked the evening shift which is the time when the individual who tested positive worked.
However, I have concerns for the entire staff complement as Ray Charles- the blind and dead could see that ABS is a high contact place. You have the morning show which sees a bunch of guests coming in. Two hosts on the show have jobs outside of ABS. The Deputy- News Director is on the morning show but interacts with members of the newsroom. Based on the letter written to staff at ABS apprising them of the positive case among them that was published on newsroom, staff within that department could have been exposed. Garfield Burford apparently works on the night shift as he anchors but still interacts with staff who work in the day as it’s his responsibility to review his stories. News reporters also go out on assignments with camera operators and it’s their job to speak to members of the public. A show like the one featuring doctors also hosted by Garfield is shot in studio where how many other individuals would’ve been. Do we see the potential risks here? I do not understand how the ENTIRE organization was not immediately shut down and EVERY ONE placed in quarantine.
Is the studio being sanitized after each guest? Are microphones thoroughly cleansed after each guest makes an appearance? Are there adequate sanitization tools? Do two people have to anchor the evening newscast given the current health crisis? These are things I hope the management takes into consideration. If ABS is as high performing as it purports to be, without a doubt a contingency plan should be enacted to ensure staff is safe or rather should have already been enacted.
However, I have my doubts. The government issued a missive stating every worker at a government agency should return to work but were these organizations approved by the Central Board of Health prior to receiving their full slate of staff? I’ve heard of CBH coming down on business owners who aren’t adequately adhering to recommended protocols which I support but some of the biggest offenders are government institutions. Social distancing is but a dream in many of them including ABS. When you consider the number of people workers at ABS could possibly infect if staff members test positive may heaven help us.
More needs to be done to ensure innovative measures are employed to keep everyone safe. It always seems impossible for new ideas to work until it’s necessary. I hope managers in both public and private sectors take the threat of COVID- 19 seriously and don’t hope to punish workers who express their concerns.