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At least 4 Riviera Beach firefighters test positive for coronavirus, fire chief says

Chief John Curd says firefighters are under quarantine, resting and doing well
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Posted at 11:51 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 18:24:07-04

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — At least four firefighters with the Riviera Beach Fire-Rescue Department have tested positive for COVID-19, the fire chief confirmed on Tuesday.

Interim Chief John Curd said the first case surfaced last Monday, and the infected firefighters are now all under quarantine at home, resting and doing well.

In addition, 10 other firefighters are being told to self-isolate and are waiting to be tested.

Chief Curd said two of the infected firefighters work together at the same station.

Riviera Beach Fire-Rescue is now doing contact tracing to determine how the four firefighters got infected. Chief Curd added that not all of the cases may be work related, and it's possible some of the firefighters were exposed to COVID-19 through their personal lives.

"It's really difficult to determine where exactly the virus came into the city," Curd said. "Contact tracing has been extremely difficult. We've seen that some of the delays in getting the [test] results have hampered our ability to do very comprehensive contact tracing within our department."

The chief said his agency can always be better prepared to handle the pandemic, including making sure firefighters and paramedics have the appropriate amount of personal protective equipment.

"I think there could be some better work done on the front end for the preparedness level," Curd said. "But we're learning each and every day. There really is no rule book for this."