A Comcast technician who works in Bloomfield, New Jersey has tested positive for the Coronavirus, roughly 10 days after the worker served customer homes in the Bloomfield area, Bloomfield city officials announced yesterday.
The technician, who has not been named, made several home service calls in Bloomfield from March 3 through March 6. There is no evidence that any of the customers have tested positive for the virus, but Bloomfield officials said they are working with Comcast to identify potential victims and determine their status.
“I am urging residents to take the threat of this virus seriously and am asking that you remain in your homes with the exception of essential travel,” said Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia. “Any residents who were serviced by this technician will be contacted by our Health Department if they have not been already, and we will walk residents through the next steps depending on the circumstances of each interaction.”
The mayor added that the Bloomfield Health Department will monitor residents that were serviced by the Comcast technician for the next 14 days. The technician is now quarantined in a Bloomfield area hospital.
“Our department is working diligently to track any interactions the individual who tested positive had with residents and we will ensure that anyone at risk of exposure is provided with all of the information necessary, including being tested themselves if appropriate,” said Bloomfield Health Director Karen Lore.
The TV Answer Man today has asked Comcast several times for a response to the Bloomfield situation, and what steps Comcast technicians are now taking to ensure a safe service visit. However, as of 12 p.m. ET today, Comcast’s corporate communications office has not responded. The cable operator’s Twitter customer service referred the TV Answer Man to the corporate communications office for a comment.
Update: Comcast this afternoon issued the following statement regarding Bloomfield:
“A technician based at our Fairfield, New Jersey tech facility has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is in the hospital receiving medical treatment. He is a long-time and valued colleague, and our hearts go out to his family at this challenging time. We have notified the customers and employees who may have had direct contact with him before he became ill to encourage them to contact their health care provider or local public health department if they feel ill. The health and well-being of our employees and our customers is our top priority, we are following CDC guidelines and have already taken the appropriate steps to protect our employee’s health. We are also working closely with local Public Health Department.”
At the Comcast web site, the cable operator says it’s continuing to do in-home installations and service calls, but doesn’t explain which safety measures it may or may not be taking during the outbreak.
“As of now, our technicians are still attending scheduled appointments. You can easily cancel an appointment (if you feel sick, or for any other reason), schedule an appointment, or check the status of a Self-Install Delivery Kit in the Xfinity My Account app and online by signing into Xfinity My Account,” the site states on a page devoted to providing timely Coronavirus information.
“Our supervisors are reinforcing public health guidelines with every employee including in-home technicians and retail store associates. Please know that if employees are feeling unwell, they are not to report to work,” it adds.
In contrast to Comcast’s stated policy, Dish has published several safety measures that have been established for in-home technicians. You can see them here, as well as learn more about the safety of service calls during the Coronavirus crisis.
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— Phillip Swann