8 Columbus firefighters test positive for coronavirus, 2 already recovered

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Division of Fire says eight of its firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Battalion Chief Steve Martin, two of those firefighters have already recovered and are back at work. The other six are at home.

A total of 36 people showing symptoms are in isolation, including six who have tested positive.

Nineteen are in quarantine because they are asymptomatic, but had close contact with someone who became symptomatic. The quarantine lasts 14 days or until a negative test for the symptomatic person.

Twelve people are being screened before reporting for duty because of casual contact with someone who became symptomatic.

” For example, a member on engine 40 develops a temperature of 101.3 around dinner time.  He is sent home and contacts his personal primary health care provider and is considered to be in isolation.  The other members of his crew are sent home to be in quarantine.  They are not sick but were working closely for an extended period of time with the symptomatic firefighter.  They will remain at home for two weeks or until they find out the ill firefighter tested negative for COVID-19.  The members assigned to medic and ladder 40 will watch for symptoms and be in a group who report to occupational health before every work shift to make sure they are healthy before reporting for duty,” said Martin.

Martin says the division has procedures in place to make sure they can respond without any noticeable difference to te public.

“We cannot be sure how long that will last if the numbers continue to climb at the rate some models project.  We have a team of people who are working on alternative response models to make sure we continue the highest level of service possible.  We will know more about those options later in the week,” said Martin.

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