COVID in courthouses

Some+locals+who+have+contracted+COVID-19+believe+they+were+exposed+due+to+close+contact+at+the+Beaver+County+Courthouse.

beavercountypa.gov

Some locals who have contracted COVID-19 believe they were exposed due to close contact at the Beaver County Courthouse.

Gracie Shane, Staff Writer

On Sept. 28 and 30, members of the Beaver County Emergency Services Unit (SWAT team) and employees of the Beaver County Courthouse were exposed to COVID-19. Many of these people did not know they had been in contact with the virus, so they went along with their regular daily activities and did not quarantine until about a week after exposure.

“One of the members of the Emergency Services Unit was unknowingly exposed by his wife. During a weeks time the team was operational twice for high risk search warrants and once for training evolution. During the high risk warrants, members of the team are in extremely close proximity to one another in a high stress environment,” Officer Micheal Priolo stated. 

Members of the SWAT team also have other jobs in different departments throughout Beaver County. Some of those team members work in the Beaver County Detectives Office, which is located inside the courthouse. Those SWAT members went to work both days they had search warrants, unknowingly, and possibly exposing everyone else to COVID-19. The Courthouse was closed and members of the SWAT team and employees of the Courthouse were asked to quarantine and get a COVID-19 test. 

According to cms.gov, up to 129 million non-elderly adults have pre-existing conditions. 

“My family is actually rather healthy. None of my family really suffers from any kind of heart conditions,” Officer David Mosura stated. 

His family is quite lucky. Many families in the United States have family members with pre-existing conditions. From personal experience, having two close family members with pre-existing conditions who are essential workers is terrifying. Deputy Sheriff and SWAT Executive Officer Tom Shane and Sergeant Dawn Shane both have autoimmune disorders. Those disorders cause their immune systems to weaken, which can allow harmful bacteria to get in much quicker and easier. Deputy Sheriff Shane was thankfully not at work the days of virus contact for both the Courthouse and the SWAT team. Sergeant Shane, who works in Rochester Borough, was off work with a broken ankle. Both could have easily caught the virus and had a hard time fighting off the virus because of their diseases. 

Pre-existing conditions can kill, but with the help of COVID-19, they can be much more deadly. Be cautious of the people around you. If you think you have come into contact with the virus, get a COVID-19 test and please wear your masks.