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WCPO making adjustments to keep staff members safe from COVID-19

Several employees are quarantined, others working remotely to avoid contact
WCPO anchor experiences symptoms of COVID-19, gets tested.jpg
Posted at 12:58 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 13:24:48-05

You may have noticed a few more of our WCPO 9 anchors and other journalists are not in our studio. That’s because as COVID-19 cases in our community have increased the number of times our staff members are exposed to people who have tested positive has increased.

Anchor Kristyn Hartman reported a news story on being quarantined and undergoing COVID-19 testing. Kristyn took you through the process and how she experienced it. Anchor Julie O’Neill talked about being quarantined as well.

We have more staff members being quarantined now than at any point during the pandemic.

We also have some staff members working remotely even if they have not been exposed to the virus.

I wrote back in March about some of the changes we made then to keep our team safe. I know many of you may have returned to your places of employment after an initial work-from-home period. We have moved a few employees back into our building, but most of them continue to work remotely.

For example, anchor Craig McKee and meteorologists Steve Raleigh and Jennifer Ketchmark have mostly worked from home since March.

I received an email this week from a viewer who accused Jennifer of “hiding in her basement.” Others have messaged attacking these staff members for not returning to our studio.

But these folks are working from home by our choice. As a business, we feel it is important to have team members work remotely to cut down on the number of people in our building. It is difficult to properly social distance in a TV news studio. While it can be done on our set, it still creates risk.

The reality is COVID-19 is a real threat -- most importantly to our employees’ health but also to our efforts to bring you the news. The more staff members we have in the office the more we risk one infected employee possibly leading to many of our employees being unable to work.

We have worked hard throughout the pandemic to keep our team safe. We do this because it is the right thing to do for our employees, but also because we feel a greater responsibility than ever to bring you the important news about what is happening in our community.

As always, feel free to reach out to me with your questions or feedback.

Mike Canan is the Senior Director of Local Media Content at WCPO. Contact him at mike.canan@wcpo.com. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram at @Mike_Canan.