200+ Jacksonville FFs quarantined for COVID-19 exposure

The entire department will now be tested after 14 firefighters tested positive for the virus


Teresa Stepzinski
The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — All Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department personnel are being tested for COVID-17 as a precaution after 214 firefighters are in self-quarantine because of exposure during the pandemic.

Mayor Lenny Curry announced the testing Saturday night on Twitter.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the city is now testing all fire department personnel for COVID-19. More than 200 firefighters are self-quarantining and 14 have tested positive. (Photo/Will Dickey, Florida Times-Union)
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the city is now testing all fire department personnel for COVID-19. More than 200 firefighters are self-quarantining and 14 have tested positive. (Photo/Will Dickey, Florida Times-Union)

"As I stated last night, [Friday] our ability to protect and serve our citizens is reliant on keeping our first responders healthy. Today [Saturday] we began the testing of the entire fire department," Curry said.

"While this could lead to more of our first responders sidelined through quarantine, my top priority remains slowing the spread of the virus," he said in the post.

Curry announced Friday night that in all, 14 JFRD firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19. The conditions of those firefighters has not been disclosed.

The mayor said he's been monitoring the situation since Jacksonville Fire Chief Keith Powers briefed him about it.

The firefighters were quarantined, he said, under the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control.

Earlier in the week, Curry said that 77 firefighters were in quarantine following positive tests for three firefighters. Those quarantines stemmed from several cases linked to Station 28, on Hogan Road on the Southside.

Station 28, the department's largest, had also closed temporarily in early April after a positive test.

JFRD reports an estimated 1,550 employees.

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©2020 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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