York fire-rescue confirms COVID-19 cases in first responders


FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — York County Department of Fire and Life Safety confirms some of its first responders have tested positive for COVID-19.

The department posted the news on Facebook Thursday night, saying some members testing positive was “not unexpected.”

Fire and Life Safety did not say how many staff members have tested positive.

“COVID-19 cases have become prevalent in our community. As a natural and expected consequence, fire and EMS personnel have the potential to be exposed both through their profession as well as through normal community exposure similar to what has occurred in other fire/EMS agencies as well as health care facilities/ environments,” the department wrote.

The department said more testing is being done in communities, meaning more positive results will be reported. The department is also now proactively testing some members.

The fire stations have also been following “necessary precautions” such as using personal protective equipment and quarantining or isolating those exposed. York County Fire and Life Safety is routinely sanitizing all vehicles.

Each positive case has been reported to the Virginia Department of Health, the department said.

“The department continues to follow all appropriate recommended procedures while responding to emergencies, interacting with the public, and working in the fire stations,” the department said. “… Although this situation has affected some members of our department, our services to the community have not been impacted.”

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