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As more work from home, concern from those still going to work grows

Fear of getting sick has caused some to strike.

PHOENIX — The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Arizona.

Following CDC guidelines, many workers are now working from home.

But those who can't or are still asked to come to work have expressed concern to 12 News about their safety. 

RELATED: Here are the jobs considered 'essential services' in Arizona

Around a dozen Cyracom employees went on strike Monday after they heard a rumor that an employee, or family member of an employee, was infected with COVID-19. 

Cyracom tells 12 News there is no evidence of someone sick with COVID-19 on the inside. But have upped cleaning and sanitation anyway.

In a statement Cyracom said: 

"CyraCom provides essential interpretation and translation services to healthcare organizations and first responders who need to communicate with individuals who don’t speak English well.

"CyraCom has not been made aware of any employees that have tested positive for COVID-19. Our workforce’s health and safety continues to be a top priority, and we have previously sent a company-wide message instructing those who suspect they may have COVID-19 symptoms, or may have been exposed, to stay at home.

"We have taken steps since the beginning of the US outbreak to bolster our already robust cleaning, health, and wellness procedures. As a part of these extended preventative procedures, we hired a professional cleaning company to electrostatically disinfect our facilities with the Clorox Total 360 system. Some centers were treated over the weekend, with others scheduled for later this week. Electrostatic disinfecting provides a broad-spectrum approach to disinfecting a complete surface area and an entire room. Clorox Total 360 kills 99.9% of bacteria in 5 seconds and kills 44 other viruses and organisms in 2 minutes or less."

Cyracom is not alone here, 12 News has received emails from employees at U-haul, Wells Fargo and others expressing similar concerns. All three businesses are considered "essential."

On Monday, U-Haul confirmed an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19, stating:

"We recently had one Team Member test positive for COVID-19. Indications are the Team Member contracted the virus while traveling. We immediately notified the person’s work group. Every person in that work group was sent home for self-isolation. Once vacated, the entire floor where that work group is stationed was thoroughly sanitized. This group, like all of our Team Members including part-timers and those who are not on our medical plan, has Company-paid access to telehealth (BlueCare Anywhere).

"We have both Team Members who are working from home, and from our Phoenix office to support those in our field operations who are serving the public as essential service providers across the U.S. and Canada.

"U-Haul fits into a number of categories recognized by the U.S. Office of Homeland Security as 'critical infrastructures' and the Arizona Executive Order (2020-12) “Prohibiting the Closure of Essential Services” published today. As an essential service provider, U-Haul is open to help communities and customers, many of whom have been displaced or undergone sudden life changes brought about by COVID-19. These changes may be due to the loss or gain of employment, colleges closing campuses, medical issues, etc. The customer base utilizing our rental equipment and storage products also includes First Responders, delivery companies bringing people essential needs, pharmaceutical suppliers, and small businesses seeking to manage their operations through uncertainty."

Wells Fargo also released a statement on the concerns of its employees: 

  • "The health and safety of our employees is top priority. Across the company, including in branches, contact centers and corporate locations, the company is taking significant actions to ensure safety, including enhancing social distancing measures, staggering staff and shifts, enabling work from home for as many employees as possible, implementing an enhanced cleaning program, and increasing our shipments of hand sanitizers, wipes, and other supplies.
  • We are doing and will continue to do all we can to enable as many employees as possible to work from home. We have asked that non-customer-facing employees with remote access work from home. However, not all jobs can be done from home. As we are able, we will continue to reduce in-office staffing. For those employees who are not able to work from home, we are taking significant actions as mentioned above, to ensure safety, including enhancing social distancing measures, staggering staff and shifts, and implementing an enhanced cleaning program.

We have repeatedly communicated across the company that any employee that feels ill should not come to work. Specifically, we have communicated that, if someone suspects they have COVID-19, they should compare their symptoms with the information provided by the CDC, and if those symptoms match, they should stay home and consult with a health care provider, who may request a COVID-19 test. If an employee tests positive, we would employ an established protocol, including encouraging them to self-quarantine, identifying coworkers with whom they have been in close contact, and performing an enhanced cleaning in their location. We’ve also made several significant enhancements to Wells Fargo’s benefits and time away programs to provide additional support to all employees during this public health emergency, including benefit enhancements specifically for employees directly affected by coronavirus through illness or school closures."

RELATED: VERIFY: No suggestion coronavirus transmits via food, but practice good hygiene anyway