As the Governor orders bars and gyms to close, a call center that employs hundreds is still open

While Governor orders restaurants and gyms to close, a call center that employs hundreds remains open
Posted at 6:49 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 16:22:21-04

FORT MYERS — Businesses all across southwest Florida are taking drastic measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Some are shutting down entirely, while others are asking employees to work from home.

But one major business in Fort Myers is still open.

At Alta Resources, hundreds of employees are still working together in the same building, and one of them told us, she doesn’t think it’s safe.

“We are not six feet apart. All that separates us is a cubicle wall, and you know that, we’re stacked right on top of each other, over 400 people in that building. Way too many people in that building," said an Alta Resources employee that wanted to remain anonymous.

“So many people are afraid of retaliation, and I said, you know what? My family still comes first," said the employee.

Four days ago, Alta put a post on its Facebook page, saying the spread of COVID-19 is “an event that must be monitored”. But there was nothing about shutting down or working from home. The employee we spoke with said there is no excuse for them to be still coming to work.

“It is very possible to do our jobs from home, we just have not been given that option as of yet," said the employee.

For the woman we spoke with, it’s personal, because she’s afraid her family might suffer the consequences if something doesn’t change.

“I have a sick child and I live with my elderly grandmother, and I just, I don’t want to put them at risk trying to do my job," said the employee.

Today, Governor Desantis issued an executive order, banning bars, restaurants, and even fitness centers from staying open, but call centers were not on the list.

“From a state level, I think that we should have things closed-down for at least two weeks," said the employee.

Moving forward, this woman hopes something will be done at Alta to keep employees safer.

“I love my job, but at the same time, I have to put my family, myself, first, and hopefully the company can respect that," said the employee.

We did reach out to Alta, both by phone and by email for a comment, but haven’t heard back.