Infected worker forces free meal site to close

City Neighbors Hamilton worker tests positive
Posted at 2:54 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 17:12:47-04

BALTIMORE — Those arriving at City Neighbors Hamilton discovered the gates locked and the picnic tables empty after the school system suddenly shut down the site after a worker tested positive for COVID-19.

Just a day earlier, it had been business as usual here.

“They didn’t say anything about it,” said Beverly Barley of Northeast Baltimore. “They just said that everything was going good. That’s what they said… yesterday. They were all working hard here yesterday. They had a lot of people here.”

The school system says the unidentified person may have had contact with others and began to display symptoms on Tuesday.

It’s now asking people who may have come into contact with the worker to self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath for the next 2-to-14 days.

“So they left everything out on the table for you to grab except for the hot food. They would bring the hot food platters out to the tables for you to get,” said Tammy Jones of Parkville.
“Do you feel pretty comfortable you didn’t come into contact with anyone or does it raise questions for you?” we asked.
“It does questions, because you were there talking to individuals over the table about school packets and work and the meals and not all of them had masks on,” Jones replied.

For now, the system is asking people to go to one of its other 17 meal sites to pick up food or learning packets, and it plans to re-open City Neighbors Hamilton after workers can clean and disinfect the school building.

“My friend works here,” said Barley. “One of my really good friends, Sabrina. I mean I love her to death. Yes, I’m worried about her. Sure I am.”

The school system advises that people can be contagious two days before they’re symptomatic for COVID-19, which only has raised more concern here.