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COVID-19 outbreak hits Albemarle Fire Department, three firefighters hospitalized

ALBEMARLE, N.C. (WBTV) – A North Carolina fireplace division has been overcome by a COVID-19 outbreak.

Fire officers with the Albemarle Fire Department say three of its firefighters are within the hospital due to the virus.

A complete of ten firefighters inside the division have examined optimistic since July ninth.

One has been medically cleared and returned to work, whereas 5 extra needs to be cleared to return this week, based on the division.

Fire and metropolis officers held a press convention Wednesday afternoon.

Fire Chief Pierre Brewton mentioned all shift personnel, apart from battalion chiefs, are staying house on what they’re calling a vital care break.

Firefighters from Concord and Kannapolis are stepping in to assist serve the Albemarle group.

“They’re smaller and logistically they can’t handle having 10 people out with an outbreak,” Brian Taylor, State Fire Marshal, mentioned.

Out of simply 39 firefighters, 10 examined optimistic for covid-19 and three are within the hospital.

“At this time all Albemarle Fire Department staff are receiving a break for their mental, physical and emotional well being,” Albemarle City Manager Michael Ferris mentioned.

We requested Fire Chief Pierre Brewton whether or not any of the firefighters testing optimistic are vaccinated, however he mentioned he can not reply that.

“What I can tell you is the city of Albemarle does not have a vaccine or vaccination policy,” Chief Brewton mentioned. “What we do is actually follow the guidance given locally, state and federal.”

Stanly County has one of many lowest vaccination charges within the state, with simply 32% absolutely and 34% partially vaccinated.

Chief Brewton says they’re taking steps to maintain firefighters and the group secure by sanitizing all gear and requiring pre-screening.

“Before anyone starts a daily shift at that point we will conduct baseline testing and that is temperature checks and asking pertinent questions,” he mentioned.

Stanly County Commissioner Peter Asciutto attended the press convention.

He mentioned metropolis officers missed a possibility to unfold an vital message to the Albemarle group.

“When they had the chance to say what the community could do, all they recommended was thoughts and prayers, when CDC guidelines, which they kept talking about, recommend to get vaccinated, and if you’re not vaccinated to wear a mask, wash your hands and socially distance,” Ascuitto mentioned.

Stanly County Health Director David Jenkins instructed WBTV contact tracing will be powerful as a result of not everybody they name is keen to reply their questions.

Jenkins says about 150 individuals come into the well being division for a shot every week, however with the Delta variant spreading, he want to see that quantity go up.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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