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Arconic worker who died tests negative for coronavirus

WEATHERSFIELD — Employees with the Weathersfield Fire Department tested negative and are out of quarantine, fire Chief Tom Lambert confirmed, after crews answered a call of a person with flu-like symptoms who died March 18 while working at Arconic.

Lambert confirmed Saturday that test results of the deceased patient came back negative for COVID-19.

Arconic makes aluminum, titanium or nickel parts for planes, cars and electronics.

Lambert did say one woman from LifeTrans is in the hospital with the virus, but was not one of the five quarantined.

Lambert said officials are not sure if she contracted the virus through work or a personal interaction.

“I spoke with her yesterday,” Lambert said Saturday afternoon.

The patient, whose name he did not release, said she was “readmitted” to the hospital because crystallization reappeared in her lungs.

She was breathing on her own and not on a ventilator, Lambert said.

Cary Dell, spokesman for Arconic, said there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the plant. He did not say if other employees are in quarantine, but said the company encourages employees to practice self-quarantine measures if they come in contact with others who have been suspected or confirmed to have the virus.

An email to the newspaper from an employee stated that Arconic safety guidelines have not been taken in dealing with COVID-19.

Dell responded that last week, the Trumbull County Board of Health visited the facility and “gave us the OK that we are doing everything correctly.”

Parts of the plant have been cleaned, as is routine, Dell said. It is common practice that when an area is cleaned, employees are not in the area.

While in isolation, Lambert said he was able to continue performing administrative duties.

One employee is self-quarantined, and Lambert said she took to disinfecting her vehicle.

“Cars are important to disinfect,” he said, as people are still using them to get around.

He suggests cleaning door handles, steering wheels and anything else one may touch while inside the vehicle.

As he kept in contact with those quarantined, he said the hardest part for everyone was not interacting with their families.

To continue the education on protocol to combat COVID-19, Lambert said paramedics are encouraged to change their clothes immediately after their shift, and wash them at work then again when they get home.

Keeping their clothes separate also is important, and leaving work shoes outside and sprayed with Lysol is encouraged, Lambert said.

afox@tribtoday.com

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