by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
Late Tuesday afternoon, March 24, 2020, Carmeuse Americas (CA), the parent company of Carmeuse Lime & Stone of Rogers City, learned that a contractor employee who was on site at the Calcite operations from March 9 to 11, working alongside one of the local Carmeuse crews, became ill after leaving the site.
After leaving the Rogers City site and seeking medical treatment in Canada, the contractor employee was later tested and confirmed to have the coronavirus (COVID-19), Tuesday, March 24.
“Two of our employees from the crew working with the contractor employee developed flu-like symptoms and although they have not been tested, have been asked to self-quarantine themselves as well,” said Calcite site operations manager William de Changy.
In the meantime, CA has been in close contact with District Health Department No. 4 (DHD4), “and following their advice have asked those employees working closely with the (two) self-quarantined employees to self-quarantine until April 1 as a precaution. We are relieved to report that our employees who are ill, are doing well and are recovering at home, as is the contractor employee.”
De Changy also said that the company is working closely with DHD4 and following its recommendations. Additionally, CA is continuing to follow all Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s guidelines to ensure the health and safety of its employees and other stakeholders.
“Calcite will be continuing to operate as an essential business with minimum basic operations. All employees who can work remotely are doing do,” said Kevin Whyte, senior vice president legal, environmental and business development. “Limestone is required for the production of steel, paper products, glass, pharmaceuticals and many other essential industries. Lime, lime products and limestone are also used for food productions and to support agriculture.”
District HealthDepartment No. 4’s (DHD4) medical director, Dr. Joshua Meyerson said, “We are investigating contractors who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and recommending they quarantine. We are working with those potentially exposed and an investigation is ongoing.”
DHD4 continues monitoring the COVID-19 crisis closely with state and health care providers, and is prepared to respond should a potential case be confirmed in the four counties in its jurisdiction.
As of Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., the agency, that includes Presque Isle, Alpena, Montmorency and Cheboygan counties had no official cases of COVID-19.
(More details on the local impact of COVID-19 is in this week’s edition of the Advance)