Commissioner Sinegal, wife in self-quarantine; maintenance employee tests positive for COVID-19

Published 9:59 am Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Precinct 3 Jefferson County Commissioner Michael “Shane” Sinegal and his wife are in self-quarantine after a maintenance department employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The male employee from Port Arthur was tested last week and is recovering well, Sinegal said.

The Precinct 3 office is over two departments, the road and bridge department with 12 employees and a maintenance department with eight people that takes care of the Jefferson County Sub-Courthouse, the Texas Department of Public Safety office and Jefferson County Health Department in downtown Port Arthur.

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Sinegal said the employee, who was tested at the Jerry Ware Terminal site, was asked to create a list of everyone he had come in contact with, including the other employees he is around.

From there, it’s up to the city health department to alert those individuals.

“I hadn’t got a call and don’t know why,” Sinegal said. “If he hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have known.”

The commissioner said the sub-courthouse has been closed 2½ to 3 weeks after Tax Assessor Collector Allison Nathan Getz moved her Port Arthur employees to the Beaumont office and county clerk Carolyn Guidry did the same.

The Justice of the Peace courts were already on limited scheduling and not really hearing cases.

Sinegal said with the courthouse closed he does go in and checks his emails — no one else is there — then goes back home and stays.

Right now his only issue is the usual sinus allergies, but he is being very careful because he has some health issues not related to COVID-19 and know that could be dangerous.

“I’m not taking any chances,” he said.