BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Three first responders have tested positive for COVID-19, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young said Thursday.
Two are Baltimore City Fire Department EMS providers and the third is a member of the Baltimore Police Department.
One of the EMS providers is hospitalized while the other and the police officer are recovering at home.
“The moment the officer was made aware of potential exposure, the officer self quarantined and has been quarantined for well over a week,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.
We’re told one of the EMS providers is in the hospital, the other is recovering at home. The police officer is also at home. Officials say all 3 are feeling better today than they did yesterday. @wjz
— Rachel Menitoff (@RachelMenitoff) March 26, 2020
Young said that the health and safety of first responders is “paramount.”
“The City has prepared for this possibility, and will take all necessary precautions to limit contacts,” Young said. “My team will work with Commissioner Harrison, Fire Chief Ford and Health Commissioner Dr. Dzirasa to ensure these steps are taken immediately. The health and safety of our first responders is paramount.”
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Before the two city fire members tested positive, the department had already had first responders wear full personal protective equipment including goggles, masks, gowns and gloves.
“Members are required to wear full PPE when responding to all calls involving patient contact, that includes goggles, masks, gowns and the gloves,” Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Niles Ford said.
The Baltimore Police Department began distributing PPE two weeks ago and was recently fitted for 3,000 N95 masks given to them by the fire department.
“This afternoon, the Baltimore Police Department was notified that an officer tested positive for COVID-19,” Police Commissioner Harrison said. “This member has been off for over a week while awaiting their test results. The department is taking the proactive and necessary precautions and continues to follow the recommendations of health officials within the Baltimore City Health Department. The health and safety of our members is my top priority and the department continues to remain fully committed to keeping the public safe.”
In a statement, the police department said the officer was assigned to the eastern district.
Since the positive tests, the health department initiated contact trace investigations to learn who has come into contact with the three first responders.
“These investigations allow the health department to determine who the individual may have come into contact with and to inform those contacts so that they can quarantine themselves and take the necessary precautions to limit the spread of the virus,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said.