Outbreak reported within Maine fire department

At least three members of the Sanford Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, with more tests pending
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File photo(WMTW)
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 8:57 AM EDT
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SANFORD, Maine (WMTW) - Three members of the Sanford Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, making it an outbreak as classified by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Union officials said most people in the department have already received their tests results, but 10 IAFF Local 1624 members were still waiting for their results Monday morning, more than 72 hours after being tested.

“Everyone here at the Sanford Fire Department has been united in working as fast as we can to mitigate the spread of this virus by ensuring that everyone infected has been quickly removed from service and quarantined in order to protect the health and safety of our department, our families and our community,” said Eric Beecher, president of IAFF Local 1624. “We are following CDC guidelines for critical employees by going on calls wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks, gowns, eye protection and gloves whenever it is deemed appropriate as we answer calls and come into contact with the public.”

“The coronavirus outbreak at the Sanford Fire Department underscores how critical it is to ensure that our first responders are given top priority in receiving direct access to COVID-19 testing and that they receive their results in a timely fashion,” said Michael Crouse, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine.

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