Eight firefighters with the Long Beach Fire Department have tested positive for coronavirus. Four of these firefighters are Long Beach residents, bringing the total number of positive cases in the city to 41. All eight are in stable condition and are self isolating at home.
The origin of the firefighters’ exposure to coronavirus is still unknown, but Fire Station 11 in Long Beach has been identified as a location that all eight worked at recently.
“The treatment of these firefighters, along with all of our current positive cases, remains our highest priority,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said. “We are aware of the impact of these results on our community and understand the significant concerns this news brings. We are working diligently to identify potential situations where additional exposure may have occurred.”
Since learning of confirmed coronavirus cases among the LBFD, the City has done the following:
– Further alerted City employees who may have also been exposed.
– Began sanitizing Fire Station 11 and all its fire equipment. Normal operations will resume once that has been completed.
– The Long Beach Health and Human Services Department has begun investigating other possible exposures to coronavirus and will conduct additional testing as needed.
These new cases among the LBFD should not dissuade the community from calling 911 in an emergency.
Long Beach public safety dispatchers will begin asking callers if they are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, and public safety personnel will use personal protective gear when needed.
“Our Long Beach Firefighters are community heroes, and they have been on the front lines every day of this health crisis,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said. “We are doing everything we can to provide support to these firefighters and their families. We recognize the seriousness of this latest development and are committed to doing all that we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Long Beach.”