Renee Nadreau started feeling sick two weeks ago. She had a cough and a headache. At first she thought it might be allergies. Then she woke up one day and couldn’t taste her coffee.
“Right then I knew I had COVID,” Nadreau said.
After a test confirmed her diagnosis, Nadreau was certain she had caught the virus at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration headquarters in Glen Burnie, where she has worked for more than 20 years.
“I only go to work and home,” she said. “I don’t go anywhere else.”
Her fiance and her son, who are also both home all the time, have since tested positive, too, as has Nadreau’s sister, who lives next door with their elderly mother.
Nadreau said she knows some of her coworkers have the virus, “not because the administration is telling us. We’re only finding out through word of mouth from other people or from the people themselves.”
When Nadreau got her test results, she told her coworker. Then her coworker, who was also starting to feel sick, tested positive.
At least 16 MVA workers had confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, as have several dozen since the start of the pandemic, according to a spokeswoman for the agency. At least one worker died from the virus earlier this month.
However, MVA employees like Nadreau say no one in management tells them when a coworker is sick. Instead, they find out through word of mouth.