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3 Union Bank clerks test positive for COVID in northern Taiwan

Bank dinner party held on Jan. 7 feared to be superspreading event

Entrance to Union Bank in Taoyuan's Zhongli District. (Google Maps image)

Entrance to Union Bank in Taoyuan's Zhongli District. (Google Maps image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three out of the four local COVID cases announced on Wednesday (Jan. 12) are employees of a bank in Taoyuan City.

On Wednesday, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) announced that three clerks working at a Union Bank branch in Taoyuan City's Zhongli District had tested positive for COVID. The three had been listed as contacts of case No. 17,472, a residential service worker.

Cheng said that case No. 17,472 had visited the bank at 10:53 a.m. on Jan. 6 and apparently infected three employees in the process. A total of 27 bank employees, security guards, and contractors are now undergoing testing.

The mayor stated that the residential service worker had opened an account at the Jianxing Road branch of the bank and that both she and the teller had worn masks throughout the whole process. After the staff had been informed that they were contacts of a confirmed case, they began implementing self-health monitoring.

On the evening of Jan. 11, an employee of the bank developed a fever and tested positive for COVID. On the morning of Jan. 12, two more staff members were diagnosed with the virus.

According to Taoyuan Department of Public Health Director Wang Wen-yen (王文彥), the bank held a dinner party on Jan. 7, and there are concerns that the probability of transmission during the event is high. Wang pointed out that on Jan. 12, the bank had been urgently requested to close for business and carry out disinfection of the whole building.

All relatives, friends, and people who have come in contact with the staff are required to undergo testing. Whether the infection among the staff members was caused by the dinner is still under investigation.

The three confirmed cases have been placed in hospital isolation wards, while their contacts will undergo home isolation until Jan. 26. Wang said that due to the presence of confirmed cases and the fact that the bank is located in the community, many residents have sought testing.

A community testing station has been set up in the area and has begun to provide testing from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the afternoon and 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the evening. Cheng called on the public to undergo testing if they had been to that Union Bank branch between Jan. 4 and 12.

Updated : 2022-01-21 04:32 GMT+08:00