I really wish COVID was over. And I’m definitely not the only one. But while the numbers are still mercifully well below the height of the pandemic, the new Omicron subvariant — BA.2 — is quickly gaining steam.
However, the eagerness for a post-COVID life is intense. Cities are dropping mask mandates like they’re hot. The CDC is slashing quarantine times. And Biglaw firms are returning to the office.
At Katten Muchin Rosenman, getting back to normal also included a — voluntary — junior associate retreat in Chicago. Unfortunately, that’s resulted in a COVID outbreak at the firm, as an email from Chief Talent Officer Melanie Priddy confirmed:
As some of you may know, we held a Junior Associate Retreat in Chicago last week and we were notified that a number of people who attended tested positive for COVID-19. Specifically, of the 110+ individuals who attended the retreat, so far we are aware of 19 who have tested positive.
Priddy notes the firm has a vaccine and testing mandate for those who attend out-of-town retreats like this, but well, reducing one’s risk is not the same as eliminating it. The firm also detailed the steps it’s taking to minimize the outbreak.
Our Human Resources department has been in contact with these individuals and are monitoring their health status, along with identifying close contacts (who have been notified separately). For those who attended the Junior Associate Retreat, in abundance of caution, we ask that you do not go into any of our U.S. Katten offices for the remainder of this week, monitor for any symptoms and notify your local HR Manager if you do test positive for COVID.
Above the Law wishes everyone involved a speedy recovery. And let this be a reminder, wishing the pandemic over is not the same as it actually being over.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).
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