Connolly Statement on GSA IG Alert Memorandum on COVID Exposures

Memo finds significant delay in sharing COVID positive cases ?

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Fairfax, VA, September 3, 2020 | comments

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, released the following statement on the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Inspector General “Alert Memorandum: Concerns Regarding PBS’s Communication and Cleaning Procedures for Coronavirus Disease.”

 

“It is unconscionable that more than two weeks could pass between learning of a positive coronavirus case and sharing that with building occupants. This alert memorandum demonstrates the risk of this Administration’s failure to have a coherent and universal plan for reopening the federal government. This patchwork approach has resulted in a failure to clearly and quickly share positive COVID-19 cases, threatening the health and safety of federal workers, contractors, building occupants, and the public.”

Key findings from the memorandum include:

  • PBS did not always receive timely notice of COVID-19 positive test results from building occupants
  • PBS did not always provide timely notification of positive COVID-19 cases to building occupants. In one instance, PBS notified occupants 16 days after receiving notification of a positive case.
  • PBS did not update its contractor oversight plans for COVID-19 cleaning, and as a result, it does not have assurance that contractors are cleaning and disinfecting space in accordance with applicable requirements.
  • As coronavirus cases continue to occur across the country and federal employees return to facilities in greater numbers, it is critical that PBS follow its own procedures and engage in close coordination with its tenant agencies in order to limit exposure to and spread of COVID-19.

The full alert memorandum is available  here. 

In June, Connolly sent l etters to 24 federal offices of Inspectors General (IGs) requesting their plans to oversee agency plans to return employees to federal office buildings. 

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