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Allegheny County Workers Return To Office As Questions Swirl For Some Employees

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Monday was a big day for Allegheny County employees who have been working from home for nearly a year and a half.

The county said it was a remaining 20 percent of workers who came back to the office Monday. While some said they're glad to be out of the house, others said they're worried as the Delta variant continues to spread.

"It's kind of nice to just get out and move, see what's still open," said Allegheny County Department of Human Services employee Dru Taliaferro.

While Taliaferro is enjoying the change of scenery, other county employees are not, especially as health leaders said they've noticed a rise in coronavirus cases in the last week.

"It is such a silly time to be going back when there's a rise," said an anonymous county employee.

KDKA's Amy Wadas talked to two county employees who wanted to remain anonymous. They said there's been a lot of confusion surrounding wearing masks.

"The information has been conflicting, especially given two weeks' notice. There could have been more time to thoughtfully prepare," said the county employee.

"In one of the emails, it specifically said masks no longer were required for any individual while in the DHS office," said the county employee. "We also got a follow-up email that did say unvaccinated people are to be wearing masks in the offices."

Another concern for some employees is using their own time off if they have to quarantine, without the option of working remotely.

"For those who aren't absolutely needed to be in-person to perform job duties effectively, I feel like being in the office should be optional," said a county employee.

"I personally would like to see everyone wear a mask because we all have the right to choose to get vaccinated or not. But for everyone's safety, I think it's important we wear a mask to help with an uptick in numbers," said a county employee.

If there's any confusion, the county encourages employees to reach out to their human resources director. While the county said it's following CDC recommendations, there are no mask requirements unless people are visiting a court floor in county buildings.

CDC guidelines recommend people two years and older who aren't fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

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