Wildwood officials discuss masks and temperature taking for employees

With Florida COVID-19 cases surging, Wildwood officials are taking action to help prevent city employees from catching the virus.

A memo issued Monday by Human Resources director Melissa Tuck advises employees to carry masks with them.

Wildwood commissioners also discussed whether to begin routinely taking the temperature of all employees.

Free COVID-19 testing will be offered next week to Wildwood residents. Drive-up testing will be available from 9 a.m. to noon Monday and Wednesday, July 20 and 22, at the Wildwood Community Center on Powell Road. Residents should bring a photo ID. Antibody testing is not available and no symptoms are required.

Tuck said her memo advises employees to carry masks in their pockets that can be used when social distancing is not possible such as when they visit another employee’s office or ride with them in a car.

“I suggest going a step further and taking the temperature of employees,” said Mayor Ed Wolf. “The way it’s spreading nowadays, you can’t do too much to protect yourself.”

City Manager Jason McHugh agreed to study the option, but said it could be difficult for some employees like police officers who repeatedly interact with the public.

“At this point, I didn’t feel it was necessary to do,” he said.

Commissioner Joe Elliott said the temperature option should be taken under advisement.

“If you look at Sumter County and Wildwood results, we’re not doing too bad,” he said.

But Wolf said taking employee temperatures could prevent the city from having to shut down as some affected businesses have done and could protect the city against lawsuits.

“If you’re not doing everything you can to keep us safe, you’re going to get a phone call,” he said. “It wouldn’t be that difficult to take that extra step.”

Commissioner Julian Green said it’s only a matter of time until local cases rise.

“It’s coming,” he said. “We need to stay focused and be prepared.”

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