SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) - Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said Thursday that a man will face multiple charges after lying about testing positive for coronavirus.
Wright said Jeffery Travis Long worked at Sitel in Inman. The sheriff said the business was shut down and evacuated after Long provided a forged letter claiming he had the virus.
"He just wanted a two week vacation," Wright said of the suspect.
Wright said Inman police charged Long with breach of peace and forgery. The sheriff's office will also file an additional count of forgery, Wright said.
Long was granted a $10,000 bond and fined $200.
Sitel released this statement to our newsroom on March 15 about the original incident:
“On March 13, 2020, Sitel Group learned that an employee of Sitel Spartanburg tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus) via self-notification. We immediately contacted the South Carolina Department of Health to seek advice, which included closing the site and evacuating all associates.
The health and safety of our employees is our priority. We have instructed employees that came into contact with the COVID-19 positive employee to self-quarantine for 14 days and contact their health providers if they feel ill. We had certified vendors in viral decontamination who completed a hospital-grade deep clean at the site on Friday evening. We will update our employees once we determine a date to re-open the site.”
On Thursday, Sitel issued a new statement following Long's arrest:
On March 13, we reported to authorities that an employee at our Spartanburg, South Carolina site self-reported testing positive for COVID-19. Once reported, we immediately evacuated employees from the Spartanburg site and conducted rigorous sanitization of the entire facility.
Today, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office alerted Sitel that this employee made fraudulent claims about testing positive for COVID-19. Based on these fraudulent claims, the Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for this individual. The individual is no longer employed at Sitel.
We are currently working in close partnership with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, and since this is an ongoing investigation, we will direct any requests for statements or information about this investigation to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
At this time, our focus is on the safety and wellbeing of our employees who returned to work at our Spartanburg site on Wednesday, March 18th, 2020. We’ve taken precautionary safety measures at this site to ensure:
- We communicated this situation to all employees. Linked here is an update we’ve shared with our employees.
- We continue to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols (outlined above in our Overview) to protect the safety of our employees.