Six firefighters with the Sanford Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, the City of Sanford confirmed today.
All six are currently recovering at home, in isolation, the city reported. The city did not release the names of the six firefighters, nor did they release their current medical condition.
The news today comes as Lee County is experiencing a new surge in positive cases. On Monday, the county reported 78 new positive tests in the past week. The week before that, 106 new cases were confirmed. The county had been experiencing anywhere between 40 and 60 new cases per week over the past few months. The number of active cases in Lee County currently sits at 227, and overall, 1,824 people have tested positive for COVID-19 locally since April.
Additionally, the county reported that a 16th resident died last week from complications related to the virus.
All employees of Sanford’s three fire stations are currently being tested, according to the city. The department is working with the Lee County Health Department for testing and contact tracing. All three fire stations have been cleaned and sanitized, and each station is sanitized again at shift change.
“One of my highest priorities is the safety and health of all Fire Department employees,” Fire Chief Wayne Barber said in a press release Thursday. “The Sanford Fire Department follows and exceeds, where possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines while providing emergency services to our community.”
All fire stations are experiencing a reduction in staff due to employee quarantines, but the City does not anticipate any disruption to service delivery.