Four Clark County firefighters are under observation after exposure to a patient who has since been tested for COVID-19.
The exposure happened during a medical call. The outcome of the patient’s test was not known as of Wednesday, Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Jonathan Wiercinski said.
The firefighters are currently not showing any symptoms, and the department does not consider them quarantined, Wiercinski said. They are remaining at home out of an abundance of caution.
“The fire department — we’re working with our infectious control nurse and our medical director to ensure best practices,” Wiercinski said. “We’re in communication with the Southern Nevada Health District and we’re following (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines.”
A fifth Clark County firefighter is also under observation based on CDC guidelines after recently returning from a trip to Europe, Wiercinski said. That firefighter also is not showing any symptoms.
Wiercinski said the department is taking extra precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Each firefighter is now required to wear personal protective equipment — including goggles, masks and gloves — on medical calls that previously may not have risen to that level of exposure control.
“We’re trying our best to keep our arms around this challenge,” Wiercinski said.
Both the North Las Vegas Fire Department and the Henderson Fire Department said no firefighters are currently quarantined as a result of COVID-19 exposure.
Jace Radke, a spokesman for the city of Las Vegas, declined to answer whether any Las Vegas Fire Department employees were under quarantine.
He said in an emailed statement that the city’s first responders are “well equipped and well cared for as they respond to fire and medical emergencies.”
“The city has policies and procedures in place that ensure every emergency responder is fit for duty and able to respond on calls without compromise to their own or the public’s health,” the statement read. “Any exposure to infectious conditions are documented and treated.”
As of Wednesday, no North Las Vegas or Henderson police officers had been quarantined, according to department officials. Las Vegas police did not respond.