Update, Aug. 12: In an Aug. 9 press release, the City of Malibu provided additional details about the cases of COVID-19 reported earlier in the month at City Hall.
“Upon further testing, it was confirmed that two members of city staff tested positive,” the statement described. “These staff members work in different departments and do not interact.”
The city’s information also detailed its contact tracing protocol, which is as follows:
“The next step in contact tracing is to determine if the COVID positive individual had close contact with any City staff members, consultants or visitors to City Hall.
Close contact includes:
- An individual who was within 6 feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes, or
- An individual who had unprotected contact with the infected person’s body fluids and/or secretions, for example, being coughed or sneezed on, sharing utensils or saliva, or providing care without using appropriate protective equipment.
Anyone who is identified as having had close contact with a COVID-19-positive individual is notified by City management. What the exposed individual does next depends on whether they have been vaccinated. If a person has not been vaccinated, they must self-isolate and monitor their health for 10 days after the last contact with the person with COVID-19. If the individual has been fully vaccinated and has no symptoms of COVID-19, they do not need to quarantine. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.”
The city’s statement also sent well wishes to the staff members who tested positive for the virus. Malibu City Hall remained open with safety protocols in place.
The City of Malibu announced on Friday, Aug. 6, that “several” staff members working at City Hall had contracted COVID-19 and were isolating at home.
City of Malibu spokespeople were not able to provide the exact number of staff members who had tested positive, citing privacy concerns. “It’s a small number,” City of Malibu public information officer Matt Myerhoff said. When asked when the virus was first detected among staff members, Myerhoff said it was “within the last few days.”
City Hall remained open to the public as of Friday, with appointments available but not mandatory. Masks were required inside City Hall regardless of vaccine status, in accordance with LA County health department regulations.
“The city takes the health and safety of its staff and the community very seriously, at all times, and particularly during the pandemic, and has taken steps including contact tracing and reinforcing mandatory facemask use and social distancing inside City Hall,” according to a statement from the city. “Additionally, persons entering City Hall will undergo a screening process to ensure safety and occupancy limits.”
That process was not medical, but rather involved a staff member stationed at the front desk ensuring mask compliance, social distancing and keeping capacity “low.”
The city’s statement also suggested that those with “…concerns about the highly contagious Delta variant spreading rapidly … should consider using the city’s online, phone and Zoom services rather than in-person services.”
The City Hall cases come amid a local surge in viral cases. Since July 1, 85 new cases of the coronavirus have been reported among Malibu residents; just seven cases were reported throughout the month of June. One additional COVID-19 related death was reported among Malibu residents during the first week of August, bringing the total number of local deaths linked to the viral disease up to nine.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.