The outbreak began in the IT department, according to Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes, who is also an epidemiologist. Another person who worked on the same floor but in a different department also tested positive for coronavirus last week.
The only exposed employee in the IT office who was vaccinated did not get infected, Hopes said.
“The clinical presentation gives me concern that we’re dealing with a very infectious variant that is quite deadly,” Hopes told Burnett.
Hopes said he’s encouraging workers who aren’t vaccinated to wear a mask and the county is making them available to employees and visitors.
“Clearly masks work, but the vaccine is more important at this point,” Hopes said.
Manatee County will offer a Covid-19 vaccine clinic for employees at the administration building on Friday.