Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington firefighter tests positive for COVID-19

<p>The City of Bloomington Fire Department sits with its doors open on East Fourth Street. A BFD firefighter tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, according to a  press release from the City of Bloomington.</p>

The City of Bloomington Fire Department sits with its doors open on East Fourth Street. A BFD firefighter tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, according to a press release from the City of Bloomington.

A Bloomington Fire Department firefighter tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, according to a press release from the City of Bloomington.

The firefighter was immediately isolated from on-duty crews and went into in quarantine at their home after BFD was notified of the firefighter’s positive status, according to the release. As of Saturday, the firefighter has only experienced mild symptoms and is expected to make a full recovery, according to the release. The person will return to work after they are cleared by a doctor.

BFD decontaminated the station and equipment the person had touched recently. The department is reviewing records to identify and contact any members of the public who may have interacted with the infected firefighter.

“Our Department is committed to the safety of our residents and the firefighters who serve them,” BFD Chief Jason Moore said in the release. “We are focused on adapting to this changing threat and making sure we are proactively managing the risks so we can continue to provide essential emergency services to our community.”

Two additional firefighters might have been exposed to the virus and are self-quarantining at their homes, according to the release. However, they are not showing symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends health care providers and first responders only be tested if they show symptoms. Pending medical clearance, all three are expected to return to work by April 7, according to the city’s press release.

BFD and other city officials advise firefighters who came in contact with the one firefighter who tested positive to follow all CDC and Indiana State Department of Health protocols to avoid exposure, according to the release.

The fire department is increasing the use of personal protective equipment, ensuring employees practice social distancing during shift changes, minimizing interactions between the five BFD stations, and closing the fire stations to non-emergency visits, according to the release.

“Everyone in the community should continue to practice physical distancing, hand-washing and other CDC protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Moore said in the release.

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