9 Portsmouth emergency responders potentially exposed to COVID-19, officials say


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Nine emergency responders in Portsmouth are in self-isolation after they were potentially exposed to coronavirus while on the job, officials say.

Portsmouth officials confirmed that the nine emergency workers were potentially exposed to COVID-19 while working a call for service on Tuesday. The workers are in self-isolation at home. A Portsmouth Fire Rescue and Emergency Services official said that all of the city’s fire companies and apparatus’ are staffed and in service.

The Portsmouth Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association posted about the 2-week quarantine of the emergency responders on Facebook.

The association wrote, “Our Department’s staffing is already at a dangerous level. This is an all hands on deck situation, but we are unable to use these personnel for 14 days. Dr. Lydia Pettis Patton, this is why eliminating positions in public safety is dangerous and irresponsible.”

The Portsmouth Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association have also created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the quarantined emergency workers.

“Many firefighters rely on part time work to support themselves and their families. Unfortunately this is not an option for the firefighters and medics who were exposed yesterday. Every little bit helps,” the post said.

Emergency responders in Portsmouth aren’t the only ones who have been taken off duty after potentially being exposed to COVID-19. A “small number” of Virginia Beach firefighters are also in quarantine after potentially coming into contact with a positive case of COVID-19, officials say.

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