AUBURN — The city closed its tax and city clerk offices Thursday after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

In a news release Thursday morning, officials said the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution,” but the closure was expected to be temporary.

“This closure is a precautionary measure,” City Manager Phil Crowell said. “Our first priority is to protect our employees and visitors against any further spread.”

Crowell said two employees have tested positive using PCR tests, and another tested positive using a rapid antigen test.

Following the positive tests, staff in the affected offices are quarantining and the workspaces have undergone a professional deep cleaning, officials said.

Matt Fifield, Auburn’s deputy fire chief who has led the city’s COVID-19 response, said the city has been in contact with the Maine Center for Disease Control. He said the city had already carried out all recommendations received by the CDC by the time contact was made.

The release said employees who are able will be working remotely, but “other city services within Auburn Hall are still available,” including planning, permitting and code, economic and community development, police, and others.

Fifield said “given the building design, safety practices that are practiced daily by our staff, contact tracing and preliminary testing,” a full closure of Auburn Hall was not needed. He said Auburn has partnered with Promerica Health and has “employed all needed preventive steps at this time.”

The city posted an online notice of the closure Wednesday, but did not specify the reason for closing the offices.

According to the release, the affected employees last worked Wednesday. The city is conducting a second round of testing over the next 24 hours, but doesn’t expect results for several days.

The tax and city clerk offices are expected to reopen Tuesday, Feb. 16, after Monday’s scheduled closure in recognition of Presidents Day.

The release said up-to-date closure and reopening information will be posted at auburnmaine.gov and on the city’s social media pages.

Recent visitors to Auburn Hall who have questions or concerns should email [email protected].


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: