Florida real estate developer brings on doctor as COVID-19 cases surge

A real estate firm in Boca Raton, Florida, has hired a doctor to create a program to help keep its employees healthy as they work through the pandemic. Dr. Walter Okoroanyanwu is the newly hired director of environmental health for commercial real estate developer Crocker Partners.

Okoroanyanwu has a strong epidemiological background, including a fellowship with Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center’s Division of Infectious Disease, and leadership positions with the HIV/AIDS Planning Councils in New York City and Newark, the company said in a statement.

Okoroanyanwu plans to leverage his network of colleagues at the Center for Disease Control, Emory University of Public Health and Rutgers University for medical recommendations.

“My mission is to create and maintain a work environment that limits the chance of spreading COVID-19,” Okoroanyanwu told the Palm Beach Post.

Although the role was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Crocker expects that the position will promote healthier indoor environments in its properties on a permanent basis, the company said in a statement.

Over time, Okoroanyanwu will develop a comprehensive environmental health, sustainability and wellness program which would be used in the company’s 11 million sq. ft. portfolio, of which more than 30,000 people are employed in.

Crocker Partners already requires tenants and visitors to wear masks in common areas and is suggesting that tenants work in more staggered shifts.

The state of Florida has remained a COVID-19 hotspot since reopening its beaches early and reported 12,523 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday alone.

As of Sunday, Florida reported more than 10,000 new cases per day since Tuesday, according to CNBC.

“Dr. Okoroanyanwu is here not only to guide us through this current crisis, but also to ensure that we exceed the highest standards of health, wellness and quality of workplace to create a safe and secure environment for our tenants, their employees and visitors,” said Chris Eachus, a partner at Crocker Partners said in a statement.

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