After a deadly outbreak in a building, unvaccinated Florida port workers contract COVID.
According to officials, three unvaccinated employees at a port in Manatee County, Florida, have contracted COVID-19.
The Bradenton Herald reported on Monday that three security officers at Port Manatee, none of whom had been vaccinated, tested positive for the virus over the weekend, according to county administrator Scott Hopes, who is also an epidemiologist.
A Port Manatee official said the city “encourages personnel and tourists who are not completely vaccinated to use COVID-19 precautions, such as the use of N95 or comparable masks and social separation.” Those who want to utilize masks can get them at the port.”
The announcement comes just days after an outbreak at the Manatee County government administration building in downtown Bradenton resulted in the deaths of two persons and the facility’s temporary closure.
The virus infected five individuals in the building’s IT department, four of whom were hospitalized.
According to the Herald, Hopes told reporters at a press conference on Monday, “As you know, we had an urgent problem last Friday following the death of a second colleague.”
“The health department has been conducting its preliminary epidemiological study since that time. We also had the entire building evacuated, sanitized, and disinfected over the weekend, including fogging and wiping down every surface in every office.”
The five employees who tested positive as a result of the outbreak in the nine-story building, which employs approximately 700 people, were all unvaccinated. According to Hopes, a sixth employee in the IT department who had been in close touch with the other five employees did not have the virus.
This person had been vaccinated, which Hopes believes proves the COVID-19 vaccinations’ effectiveness.
“This specific outbreak, I believe, proves the vaccine’s effectiveness,” Hopes added. “None of the cases had been immunized. We know individuals in these departments who did not contract the infection from their co-workers.”
Epidemiologists and the Manatee County Health Department are investigating whether a new variant of the virus may have been to blame for the outbreak in the building.
“My suspicion as an epidemiologist is that we’re dealing with a variant unlike what we had last year,” Hopes said, according to Bay News 9. “This appeared to behave like the delta variant,. This is a brief summary.