Sanitation workers taking precautions to try to limit exposure to coronavirus

VIDEO: Sanitation workers taking precautions to try to limit exposure to coronavirus

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Sanitation workers in the City of Charleston are taking precautions to try to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.

While many people are being forced to work from home, sanitation workers are still on the job, picking up household garbage.

Matt Alltop, who is the city’s superintendent of public service, says several precautions are in place.

Those include safety measures that have always been standard, wearing goggles and gloves, and now hand sanitizer in all trucks.

The workers also have been split up into two teams.

One team works a route one week, the second team works the next week.

“We’ve has to discontinue trash so that we can make sure we preserve our employees and we’re able to provide more crucial services such as garbage,” Alltop said.

Those working on the front lines may be picking up garbage at homes where people might be in self quarantine or have tested positive for the virus.

“We are very concerned because it’s a real serious health issue,” sanitation truck driver Sandra Edwards said.

Starting Wednesday, the department will take each employee’s temperature when they get to work.

“It’s necessary, it’s really necessary,” Edwards said.

Alltop is asking residents to be thankful his employees are still out there working.

“They’re out there, they risk exposure to make sure that the city’s clean so just think of them while they’re out there working,” he said.

Alltop also is asking that no one puts their trash out, only garbage for now.

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