Man Arrested For Using Fake Doctor's Note Claiming He Had Coronavirus
Jeffrey Travis Long, 31, was arrested on Thursday and charged with breach of peace and forgery, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said during a news conference.
Long, from Inman in South Carolina, was working at Sitel Corporation - a call centre in Spartanburg County - when he showed his employer a forged doctor's note which claimed he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to the MailOnline, Long is no longer employed by the company but shortly after showing bosses the letter, Sitel shut down its facility for five days while they sanitised the building in a bid to protect the other members of staff.
According to authorities, Long also visited a school his children attend, causing officials there to worry that other children and families had been exposed.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told AP: "I don't know the dollar number it cost to disinfect their whole entire building, but it was a large number. It wasn't a hundred bucks. It was more than that."
Wright continued: "It seems to me like the fella just wanted a two-week, paid vacation. You can't do this to people."
Hospital officials told police they hadn't seen Long within the previous two week period, and his note didn't have an official stamp from the facility as they usually would, Wright said.
According to Inman Police Chief Keith Tucker, the hospital Long claimed to have seen him was not even conducting Covid-19 tests at the time.
The note stated: "Dear Mr. Long,
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"I am writing at your request to provide a note for your work regarding missing days.
"You were seen at Primary Care 1 here at the CGVAMC on 03/12/2020 with a positive test for the COVID-19 virus. You may return to work on 03/27/2020 following retesting on 3/27/2020.
"Please let us know if you require anything further."
Sitel Corporation released a statement to WSPA-TV on Thursday which read: "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."
Featured Image Credit: Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office