Several days after the North County Fire Protection District confirmed a firefighter had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the agency said four additional employees now also have the virus.
The North County Fire Protection District said Thursday night the four new cases are all staffers who had “close and prolonged contact” with the firefighter involved in the first case.
All four employees are now quarantined at home, each reporting mild symptoms, the agency said.
The NCFPD said it has notified others who were in contact with these employees and is taking guidance from local public health officials on how to best handle “employee isolation, personal protective equipment, and protective procedures for our patients, employees, and citizenry.”
The NCFPD said it has implemented steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the agency and the community. Every employee is required to have their temperature checked as they come on duty, during their shift and when going off duty.
“All equipment and stations throughout the district are being disinfected three times a day. Crew members are maintaining social distancing from each other and all training activity that requires close contact with one another has been cancelled,” the agency said in a press release.
The NCFPD said last weekend it had also suspended of all "nonessential interactions with the public" and increased precautions during 911 calls.
The firefighter involved in the first case of COVID-19 was asymptomatic at work and later became symptomatic at home, the NCFPD said. The firefighter was quarantined at home, the agency said on March 14.
On March 15, NCFPD Capt. John Choi confirmed the firefighter was doing well. Investigators were still trying to determine how and where the firefighter may have contracted the coronavirus, Choi said.
"Every person that the employee made contact with has been notified and documented in the system," he said.
North County Fire Protection District operates out of five stations located throughout Fallbrook and Bonsall.