Prince George’s County fire and rescue officials said one of its members tested positive for the new coronavirus. An undisclosed fire station was taken out of service as a result. The fire station has since returned to service after it was cleaned, a county spokesperson told Route 1 Reporter. This is the first confirmed diagnosis of the disease among the County’s first responders.
In a statement, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Tiffany Green said all department personnel who either had contact with the diagnosed individual, or who were in the station after the person’s most-recent shift have been made aware of the situation. Officials are now trying to notify any patients who may have had contact with the diagnosed individual.
As of March 31, PGFD had seven of its members self-quarantined for non-job-related contact with suspected victims of coronavirus. The new confirmed diagnosis brings that number to eight. The number has fluctuated from day to day, but Prince George’s County first responders have so far seemingly avoided situations similar to one playing out in Washington, D.C., where 32 fire and rescue personnel have been diagnosed with coronavirus as of March 31, and more than 330 police and fire officials are under precautionary self-quarantines.
In a brief statement, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department spokesperson Jennifer Donelan said they couldn’t disclose other details at this time. County officials did not disclose what station the individual worked from. Questioned, county officials declined to say how recently they diagnosed individual. The lack of details was due to concerns about violating health privacy laws, Donelan told Route 1 Reporter. The Prince George’s County Health Department is investigating how the individual contracted the disease.
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