Wharton County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Kirkland told county leaders there has been an “about face” from business leaders telling all their employees to get tested for COVID-19 if a co-worker has tested positive for the disease.

The change of attitude and opinion is different from what was being said in the spring and as late as June.

“There are a number of places here in Wharton County that have had this where one person tested positive, they sent everyone home because you have to take the test and bring back a negative test before you come back to work,” Kirkland said. “Please don’t do that anymore; we’re overloading the testing. This is a complete reversal of a month ago when they were saying everybody go test.”

On Monday, July 13 during a Wharton County Commissioners court meeting, Kirkland said there were guidelines that WC employees would be receiving through Judge Phillip Spenrath’s office.

“It will read this is how you can avoid that test and still come back to work,” Kirkland said. “Go home. If you don’t have the fever for three days, and you’re not taking (drug medication), then 10 days from the onset of the symptoms, and after that you should be able to come back to work.”

Kirkland did not mention the companies by name.

On the OEM’s Facebook page, he did allude to what time-based recovery meant.

“Time-based means that at least 10 days have gone by since symptoms are significantly improving and you’ve been without fever for 72 consecutive hours without taking fever-reducing medicine,” Kirkland said.

The Wharton H-E-B is one of those companies that is not experiencing a mass exodus of employees from its store if known persons contracted COVID-19. Twice this month, the company has sent out, in part, the following text message for coronavirus activity that dates to last month and July.

“You are receiving this text because you were not in direct contact with an (employee) who tested positive for COVID-19 at your store,” H-E-B states.

The two messages further explain that employees who were in direct contact with the confirmed case were alerted of their situation directly.

“Please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay six feet away from others,” the H-E-B texts have read.

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