New Bedford Firefighters in Quarantine After COVID-19 Exposure
2:30 p.m.: This story has been updated.
Twenty-two New Bedford firefighters are in quarantine after one of their own tested positive for Covid-19, the Office of Mayor Jon Mitchell has confirmed.
WBSM received a news tip Tuesday that a firefighter traveling out-of-state on vacation did not quarantine upon return to Massachusetts, returned to work at the fire department, and then tested positive. Speaking with WBSM's Barry Richard today, Mitchell said the infected worker is a district fire chief who caught the virus from his girlfriend. The mayor did not confirm the bit about the worker not quarantining.
The firefighters from several different stations were sent home yesterday and administered Covid-19 testing. Their contact with the district chief was "minimal," but they are quarantining "out of an abundance of caution," said Jon Carvalho, Mitchell's communications director. Carvalho said the firefighters had participated in a training together.
The quarantining firefighters will be able to return to work as soon as they can produce a negative test result. Mitchell said public safety personnel have the option of quarantining at the Fairfield Inn until their test results come back. Mitchell added that the affected firefighters were not due to return to work until Sunday due to the way shifts are structured, so unless an outbreak occurs, no manpower crunch is anticipated.
We have no word on the condition of the firefighter who tested positive.