Erie County health employees fired after violating coronavirus quarantine orders


SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team learned five Erie County General Health District employees are now out of a job after allegedly attending a pool party thrown by a worker, who was supposed to be quarantined.

“I am not going to tolerate it as a health commissioner and the board isn’t going to tolerate it as our appointing authority,” said Erie County Health Director Peter Schade. “How can we expect folks to follow an order when our own staff didn’t do it?”

Schade said the incident happened in early July after three workers were exposed to COVID-19 and placed on work quarantine orders.

“A few days later, one of the employees hosted a pool party,” Schade told the I-Team. “So, in total, five employees were there. Three of those folks resigned and two of the folks were terminated.”

Schade noted that Erie County has been a Level 3 on the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System for several weeks, which indicates a very high exposure and spread. He said it’s very important that everyone follow quarantine and isolation orders to help slow the spread of the disease.

The health department also issues letters to those in isolation notifying them if they violate the order police could be called.

“The letter does say at the end, if we have to we will get a quarantine guard and we will return you to your residence if we find you out and about in your neighborhood,” Schade said. “That’s state law.”

So far no one has been arrested. Sandusky police officers did go with the health department to a couple homes to explain to people the importance of following the orders.

Health department officials said the goal is to keep everyone healthy.

“We need to slow the spread and most of the people have been great and followed the orders,” Schade said. “These orders are designed for everyone’s safety.”

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