Coronavirus: North Carolina mother says internet technician exposed twin boys, dad to COVID-19 during house call

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
NC parents say Spectrum technician exposed twin boys to COVID-19 during house call
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The mother of the twins, said her two children are at higher risk of exposure because they were born 26 weeks premature.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A North Carolina mother who was desperately trying to protect her twin boys learned her entire family was exposed to the novel coronavirus by a Spectrum technician.

Charlotte resident Emily Beaty, the mother of the twins, said her two children are at risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms because they were born 26 weeks premature.

"He told me the tech that had been at our house had just tested positive for COVID-19 and my heart just stopped," Emily Beaty told WSOC.

Beaty called Spectrum last week to have her internet serviced. During the call, she asked the customer service representative what precautions the company was taking to protect customers from exposure to the virus.

"They were taking this situation very seriously. They were prescreening their employees and all of their employees were healthy," she said.

When the technician arrived, she said he began doing work outside the home. Beaty's husband noted that he saw him cough briefly. Later on, the tech came inside to finish up before leaving.

Four days later, a Spectrum representative the Beaty family received a call saying the technician tested positive for COVID-19.

"I just don't feel like they were doing a proper screening. I mean, they sent a tech out to my house that had a cough and not two days later, he is being tested for coronavirus," Beaty said.

A spokesperson for Spectrum sent the following statement to WSOC:

"We have confirmed that one of our Charlotte-based technicians has tested positive for COVID-19. We immediately contacted the customers recently served by this technician, as well as the technician's co-workers.

"We learned this technician was not feeling well on March 25 (Wednesday) and sent the technician home immediately. The technician sought medical attention and was subsequently tested. When we confirmed the positive test on March 27 (Friday), we began contacting customers served by this technician and co-workers.

"We are continually communicating and educating our staff on best practices according to the CDC health and safety guidelines, such as proper hygiene and social distancing. We are encouraging all technicians to take their temperature at home before reporting for work. We have made clear, including in a message directly from our chairman and CEO to all employees that any employee who is sick, or who is caring for someone who is sick, should stay home. If an employee needs to self-quarantine, they will not need to use their paid sick leave, but will continue to be paid and receive full benefits while under quarantine. The company also has given every worker an additional 15 days of COVID-19-related paid time off, and hourly workers who do not use this time during the COVID-19 pandemic will be paid out the remaining unused days at the end of the year."