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Grand Jury Critical Of Employee Safety And COVID Response

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Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Grand Jury has put out a report raising concerns about safety protocols in county government, and also criticizing some information presented by a pair of supervisors in relation to COVID-19.

The county’s government watchdog, the Grand Jury, has put out a new 33-page report entitled “Employee and Public Safety.”

It is broken down into two different sections (employee safety and public safety/Covid).

Related to the first aspect, it received a citizen complaint suggesting there is a lack of leadership from Tuolumne County executives related to compliance with state safety laws, regulations and procedures.

The watchdog group reports, “During the investigation, the Grand Jury found functional deficiencies in the County administration that contributed not just to deficiencies in safety documentation, but other aspects of employee safety and the safety of County residents at large. It was determined that the County does not have a document control system for safety documents, a Safety Management System, or functioning safety committee. The administration lacks a culture that recognizes the importance of safety and that prioritizes, requires, and rewards maintenance of procedures and safety information sharing.”

In the second part of the report, it notes that only 57 percent of eligible Tuolumne County residents chose to get the COVID vaccine, compared to the statewide average of 75 percent. The Grand Jury criticized two supervisors for sharing COVID-19 related information at a board meeting that went against the county public health department’s findings in relation to things like vaccines and masks.

The report notes, “Based on our investigation, the Grand Jury is concerned about the lack of a united front from all county officials at the beginning of the pandemic, and discord among supervisors concerning vaccines, testing, and COVID-19 treatments; and suggests this may have compromised our community’s health. Our County has lost 183 citizens to the current pandemic. The Grand Jury hopes that the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors and County Administration will have the discussion: Could we have done better?”

Now that the report has been completed, the county will put together a formal response.

You can find the Grand Jury’s full 33-page report by clicking here.

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