Sacramento Metro firefighter tests positive for COVID-19

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — An employee with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Officials with Metro Fire confirmed the person diagnosed with COVID-19 is a firefighter who contracted the virus after responding to a medical call last week.

“We’ve identified and notified all the other employees that our employee came into contact with,” said Metro Fire Capt. Chris Vestal. “We’re monitoring them per Sacramento County Public Health guidelines and following all of their recommendations.”

Capt. Vestal said the first responder was likely exposed when the employee and five other personnel treated a patient who called 911.

A few days later, the department learned the caller tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“It was a routine medical aid that the person was responding to and at the time was wearing all indicated personal protective equipment for that type of call,” Vestal explained.

Vestal said the firefighter spent one day in the field after coming in contact with the infected person and stopped working as soon as COVID-19 symptoms developed.

The first responder then got tested and those results came back positive Tuesday.

“Anybody who is showing signs or symptoms is being removed from service. In this case, the firefighter was actually taken off duty before we even knew the patient was positive for COVID-19 and because of that we think that we minimized the number of potential exposed patients,” Vestal told FOX40.

The goal now is to keep the rest of the team healthy and safe so they can continue reporting for duty.

“This current pandemic could last for weeks or even months. So it’s very important that we have all of our employees at full strength and that we’re able to staff all of our fire engines, fire trucks and ambulances for a long duration,” Vestal said.

Officials say the other personnel who responded to that same call last week are not showing any symptoms and continue to be monitored. 

Metro Fire says they are reviewing the firefighter’s travel in the community and will notify anyone believed to be at risk of exposure. 


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