SAN DIEGO — Four additional employees with North County Fire Protection District have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the organization’s total number of positive cases to five, authorities said.
The first employee at North County Fire who tested positive was identified as a firefighter and paramedic. Their positive diagnosis was confirmed on March 14, at which time officials said the individual was in self-quarantine at home.
On Friday, North County Fire said four more of its employees had tested positive for the coronavirus. Fire officials said all four had prior contact with the first employee who tested positive. The four additional employees were experiencing mild symptoms and were in quarantine at home, officials said.
After its first employee diagnosis, North County Fire said it alerted other employees and patients who had contact with the individual. North County Fire also put a temporary halt on all non-essential interactions with the public, excluding 911 calls, in an effort to prevent further exposure of its employees and members of the public.
In light of the four additional employees who tested positive, North County Fire said it alerted other patients who may have been in contact with them and was working with the San Diego Department of Public Health to implement strategies to keep other employees and members of the public protected from further spread of the virus.
All employees at North County Fire were getting their temperatures checked at the start and end of each shift, as well as while on duty, officials said. Equipment was also being disinfected three times daily, as were all of the district’s stations, and officials said all employees were practicing social distancing while on the job.
“We will continue to respond to 911 calls and have implemented protective procedures for our patients and crew members as outlined by CDC,” Fire Chief Stephen Abbott with the North County Fire Protection District said.
In a post on Twitter, the district asked all individuals who call in to request emergency services alert the dispatcher if they are experiencing symptoms related to the coronavirus or are in self-quarantine.