coronavirus

32 of DC’s First Responders Test Positive for Coronavirus

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There are now 32 D.C. firefighters and police officers that have the novel coronavirus, officials say.

Five more firefighters and four additional officers tested positive on Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's office said Tuesday night.

The assistant fire chief is among the 19 firefighters who have the virus.

"He is in good spirits and is doing well," Fire Chief Gregory Dean said in a previous letter to his department.

Dean has urged firefighters not to come to work if they feel sick and said they should continue to take the pandemic seriously.

"If you were in contact with the infected members but have not been notified, you should contact our Infection Control Group to report your exposure or any suspected exposures," Dean said in a previous letter to the department. "We ask that you continue to take this pandemic seriously."

A total of 13 D.C. police officers have tested positive.

There were 177 firefighters and 156 members of the Metropolitan Police Department under self-quarantine as of Sunday morning.

“Just one first responder being impacted has a ripple effect," Mayor Muriel Bowser previously said.

The first two members of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department to test positive for COVID-19 are partners, sources said.

“Any patients that they interacted with on those several days they were working have been contacted,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday on “The Today Show.” 

The first firefighter who tested positive may have worked two shifts while showing symptoms, sources said. Firefighters from both shifts are self-quarantined.

It’s unclear if the firefighter caught the virus on the job or away from work. It’s also unclear when he reported the virus to the fire department. 

Every member is being checked for “signs and symptoms of illness” when they arrive to work, and their temperatures are being taken before they are allowed into quarters, Chief Gregory Dean said. 

The DC-Area Coronavirus Outbreak in Pictures

Sixty-five inmates who were ordered to quarantine have now been released from quarantine.

Two cellmates were quarantined at the D.C. jail. One was tested because of international travel. Those results came back negative.

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