In a recent press release, Digi-Key stated they continue to recognize the many additional pressures their employees are under right now due to Covid-19.  A small percent of the electronics distributor’s employees have either had to quarantine for 14 days due to close contact with an individual with Covid-19 or had an actual diagnosis themselves.

Officials of the worldwide employer have focused on easing the stress Digi-Key employees share with others across the country . The company has ramped up additional paid time off benefits to employees working onsite, and additional flexibility in shift schedules to  better meet the needs of employees bearing additional responsibilities of caregiving and virtual schooling.

We spoke Thursday night with Becky Kofoed, Senior Manager of Employee Relations who leads the Covid response team for Digi-Key. Kofoed spoke of the evolution of their response to Covid-19 as they have gone to an immediate interview and screening for anyone who has had close contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. Their on-site clinic has served as a first-line monitor of employees who have been quarantined due to either contact on their campus or in the community.

As of Wednesday, Digi-Key had 15 employees with active Covid-19 and Thursday’s total for quarantined employees was close to 150. There are also 41 pending test results.  The response to contact tracing has been made comprehensive as Digi-Key has “maximized their system” by using the “I-Pick” scanner system to determine who has frequented a work area where an employee with Covid-19 was stationed.

Thursday night, Digi-Key had just finished an intensive rapid test of 300 employees-performed over the last two days. They had noticed an uptick of cases in one area so they used the “I-Pick” system to create a list of those who had been in the area in the last 7 days. Kofoed was able to tell Thief River Falls Radio that from the group of 300 tests, only 1 percent came back positive. This would be 3 positive tests.

Thursday was a particular happy day at Digi-Key. Inter-County Nursing reallocated the company 50 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for employees 65 and older. 20 of those vaccines were administered on Thursday and the remaining 30 doses will be administered on Friday. Those who received the vaccine will get a booster shot in 21 days.