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Two weeks after the California Department of Motor Vehicles closed its field offices to the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency’s director sent a memo to employees that confirmed what many of them had suspected.

“There have been DMV team member cases of COVID-19 in multiple offices in the state, including the Sacramento Headquarters building,” DMV Director Steve Gordon wrote in a message to employees April 9, adding that offices were being cleaned and proper authorities notified “as we maximize telework to the extent possible.”

The response to Gordon’s message was “panic,” said one DMV worker, who asked not to be identified because of a lack of approval to speak publicly. Because the DMV has not said where all infected employees were assigned, employees throughout the agency are concerned about which offices may have been exposed, the worker said.

“Everybody just became afraid and wanted to go home and not come back to the building,” the employee said.

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