Following the revelation that multiple co-workers had tested positive for the coronavirus, Texas Rangers employees told ESPN on Friday night that they fear for their health and hope the organization will allow employees to work from home after feeling pressure to come into the office.
Amid the rash of new coronavirus cases in Texas, Rangers employees were told in an organization-wide email Thursday that “several members of our Texas Rangers family have tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” according to a copy of the email obtained by ESPN.
The acknowledgment of positive tests came 10 days after the team entered a new phase of its reopening in which employees told ESPN that they were urged to work at Globe Life Field, the team’s new $1.2 billion stadium. While there was never an explicit mandate, multiple employees told ESPN their managers said working from home was not an option. Exceptions were made for some employees.
“We are terrified for our safety,” said one employee who works for the team and requested anonymity out of fear of repercussions by the organization. “Terrified to share COVID-19, unknowingly, with an older employee, a pregnant co-worker or anyone else who may have some sort of underlying condition. We all knew it would come to this. It was only a matter of time.”
More than 100 people work in the Rangers’ executive offices and more than 200 overall are at the stadium on a daily basis, according to sources. The Rangers will sanitize their offices over the weekend, offer coronavirus tests to employees Monday and Tuesday, and could reassess their work-from-home policy in the days thereafter. The team issued a statement Friday acknowledging the positive tests.
“Over the last 48 hours, the Texas Rangers have received notification that several of our employees have received a positive test for COVID-19. The Rangers immediately began the protocols that we have in place for positive COVID tests, and any employee who had direct contact with these individuals was sent home and will undergo COVID-19 testing,” the statement said. “No individuals will be allowed back into the facility without receiving a negative COVID-19 test.
“The health and safety of our employees are a top priority, and the Rangers will continue to diligently enforce the pandemic protocols that are in place for front office employees at Globe Life Field. These include temperature checks upon entering the building, mandatory wearing of face coverings, and regular sanitation and cleaning of the Globe Life Field facilities.”
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SOURCE: ESPN, Jeff Passan