2 DISD Employees on Leave for Slow Ebola Cleanup

Two Dallas Independent School District custodial employees have been placed on administrative leave after cleaning five Dallas schools affected by the city's Ebola case.

"The first reaction was, 'Am I going to get infected?'" said Jose Guerrero, a custodial supervisor at DISD.

Guerrero and his crew were tasked with cleaning the five schools after five students who had contact with Ebola patient Thomas Duncan were ordered out of class.

"You know, I had polio in '96, and I don't want anything to happen to my employees," he said.

Guerrero said he understood their fears. Guerrero, on staff with DISD for 27 years now, decided to order Hazmat suits for the cleaning crew.

The district in a statement said it "was not necessary to thoroughly clean those campuses."

"I placed the order knowing employees would be doing a job," Guerrero said. "A risky job."

Guerrero said he did best he could, even with a couple of extra city employees pitching in.

"It was not enough personnel, nor the time," he added.

The day following the cleanup, one of Guerrero's bosses said two of the campuses, Sam Tasby Middle School and Emmett J. Conrad High School, were not clean enough. Guerrero said he and another employee were put on paid leave.

"It took 11 hours to clean an apartment, an apartment. And you give me eight hours to get it done?" Guerrero said, referring to cleanup of the Ebola patient's apartment.

As for ordering the Hazmat suits, Guerrero said, "I'd do it all over again. I'll protect my employees."

In a statement to NBC 5, a spokesperson for the Dallas Independent School District said: 

"As a general rule, we do not discuss personnel matters. That said, additional assistance was provided to these five campuses to help clean the facilities.

"The district is confident that our schools did not and do not pose a risk of spreading the virus to students and staff as none of the five students exposed have yet to exhibit any signs or symptoms.

"Multiple staff members were assigned to each school that was impacted. They worked based on the assigned task.

"To be clear, there was no case of Ebola at the schools. We regularly use disinfectants at all of our campuses as a standard action. In this case, out of an abundance of caution, we performed additional cleaning at the impacted campuses."

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