Six members of the Toronto Fire Services team have tested positive for COVID-19.
On Sunday, acting Fire Chief Jim Kay confirmed the cases and said all members are in self-isolation, with Toronto Public Health monitoring the situation.
The public health agency is also investigating the cases and identifying any close contacts of those that have tested positive.
“I am grateful for Toronto Public Health’s fast action and Toronto Fire Services and I are helping in every way we can,” Kay said in a statement. “As the Medical Officer of Health has said many times, our emergency responders are vulnerable to this virus because the nature of our work can expose us to infectious disease, including COVID-19. We were prepared for this eventuality.
The Fire Chief assured that fire services will continue to respond to emergencies and will take “every precaution when responding to calls.”
According to the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, over 200 members are self-isolating, mostly due to recent travel.
Update: Six Toronto firefighters have tested positive for #COVID19. 200+ members are self-isolating, predominantly due to recent travel. The health and safety of our members and the citizens we serve remain our #1 priority.
— Toronto Firefighters (@TPFFA) March 29, 2020
All frontline staff are also equipped with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
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The Fire Services as well as the police and paramedics are deemed as essential services during the pandemic.
As of March 29, there are 540 cases of coronavirus cases reported in Toronto.
Of these cases, 39 are hospitalized and 18 are in ICU. There have been four deaths to-date, with 24 other patients recovered.