In an announcement today from the City of San Jose, officials shared that four San Jose firefighters have contracted COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. Two other firefighters are isolated at home due to disease symptoms and are awaiting test results. Eighty other San Jose firefighters have experienced documented exposures and have been restricted from work.
In numerous cases, the ill firefighters’ family members have tested positive for the disease, as well, or are exhibiting symptoms.
In accordance with Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, firefighters who are exposed to people carrying COVID-19 get taken off duty for 14 days and then subject to active monitoring. In the meantime, the firefighters consistently work to decontaminate their equipment, their surroundings, and their own bodies. In the event that firefighter work stations are suspected of contamination, firefighters are relocated while the area is subject to deep cleaning.
The population of San Jose numbers over one million people, leading officials to cite these exposures as inevitable.
To reduce the burden on emergency and medical resources, people everywhere are encouraged to engage in consistent handwashing and social distancing, and to isolate themselves if they feel sick.