May 24, 2020 at 10:35 AM
Several Columbia solid waste employees and temporary workers hired to collect city trash have been exposed to COVID-19 and are in quarantine, the city stated in a news release issued late Saturday.
The city will be forced to curtail collection by eliminating curbside recycling pick-ups this week and limiting other collections to normal household garbage. No large or bulky items such as furniture or appliances will be picked up, the release stated.
The release did not state whether any of the city or temporary employment agency workers had actually tested positive.
“The number of staff affected is sufficient enough to prevent the utility from collecting both trash and recycling from residential curbside customers,” the release stated. “As the collection and proper disposal of trash is essential to the health and safety of the community, all efforts will be shifted to normal trash collection.”
Because of the Memorial Day holiday, trash collection this week is delayed one day from regular pickups.
In the past week, 15 new coronavirus infections have been reported in Boone County and 42 people were in quarantine as of Saturday, either with the infection or because of exposure. There are 12 people hospitalized and seven in intensive care to treat the disease.
The reduction in waste collection could be extended, the city stated.