As vaccines begin to trickle into the arms of state residents and novel coronavirus cases remain high nationally and throughout the Palmetto State, a fifth Index-Journal employee has tested positive for the respiratory virus. The first positive case at the newspaper occurred in July.
The fifth employee to test positive was last in the office on Jan. 13 and only early this week began experiencing mild symptoms and, as a result, the employee was tested Tuesday. The employee tested because a family member had been exposed to someone with the virus who had tested positive. The employee had been in self-quarantine since Jan. 13. Employees of the family-owned newspaper were notified about the positive case today (Friday).
Early on in the pandemic, in March, the Index-Journal stopped allowing customers to enter the building as a precaution to protect them and employees. A number of employees also worked remotely for about six months. The newspaper offices reopened to the public in late September when employees who had been working remotely also returned. On Jan. 7, the newspaper offices were again closed to the public and the majority of employees were again allowed to work remotely. This was done out of an abundance of caution in the wake of soaring case numbers in and around Greenwood County.
The newspaper still requires employees to wear face coverings when moving about the building or when in close proximity to others. Employees are also required to wear masks when representing the company in public.
Most who contract COVID-19 experience only mild to moderate symptoms, although some will experience serious illness, such as pneumonia, or even death. Those most likely to see complications are those who are older or have certain underlying conditions.