After almost two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are ready to put it in the rearview mirror.

However, the town of Summerfield found out this week that the threat of spread remains and the virus isn’t taking a break for the holidays. On Saturday, Nov. 20, the town held a holiday tree-lighting ceremony – and town officials were alarmed to find out soon after that town employees working the event had the coronavirus.

According to a posting on the Town of Summerfield’s website, “Four town hall staff tested positive for Covid yesterday (Monday, 11/22/21). Three attended and worked the tree lighting event this past Saturday evening but were not involved directly with serving food or drink. If you attended, please self-monitor.”

According to the statement, the Summerfield Town hall remains open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with one employee – Summerfield Town Clerk Lance Heater – handling things.  Town officials say that Heater wasn’t at the town hall last week and he also didn’t attend the tree lighting ceremony.

“Lance will assist by phone or email and material drop-offs/pick-ups can be handled at the front door, if necessary,” the statement reads.

Another employee is working from home as a precaution.

Town officials are asking for patience from residents in handling county business given the limited staff of the town and the virus concerns.

Former Summerfield Mayor Gail Dunham said on Tuesday, Nov. 23, that the tree lighting event is very popular and a lot of children go for photo with Santa and to enjoy the snacks and other food.

She said she’s concerned it “could be super-spreader event this year “ and wished the town were doing more to get the word out.

The town has posted the message on its website and Facebook page – and word of mouth in that town is no doubt spreading that message quickly.