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7 Chico firefighters test positive for Covid-19

Action News Now has spoken with the Chico Fire Department Chief and a spokesperson for CAL FIRE's Butte Unit about operations during the pandemic.

Posted: Nov 19, 2020 11:36 PM
Updated: Nov 21, 2020 5:15 PM

UPDATE 9:24 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 - Action News Now spoke to Chico Fire Chief Steve Standridge who says they already were down seven people due to recent retirements and being on long-term leave due to injury, then now there are seven firefighters who are out because of Covid-19. 

Chief Standridge says there are also 21 firefighters in quarantine. He added that some have already tested negative, but the department is waiting for results on others.

Standridge says out of precaution they are keeping them all away from the station.

The ones who tested negative, since they're essential workers, can still go out on calls, said Chief Standridge, but they have to wear tons of protective clothing such as gloves, masks, shields, glasses, and disposable coveralls.

"We mandated wearing masks again in the stations and maintaining six-foot distancing as best as possible, predicated on the fact that we have firefighters who work and live at our stations for 48 hours at a time," said Standridge. 

The City of Chico is not the only department in Butte County dealing with positive COVID cases. The CAL FIRE Butte Unit also has about a half dozen firefighters who are out because of Covid-19.

Action News Now spoke to Rick Carhart, the public information for the CAL FIRE Butte Unit, who said that he does not have any information at all about the condition of any firefighter who is out. 

Carhart says CAL FIRE is taking the necessary precautions to make sure people stay safe as well.

"Anytime there is interaction with the public the firefighters are getting out of the engine putting masks on and gowns on," said Carhart.  "These are things that are ingrained into the habits of them anyway," he added. 

Carhart says they also clean the station and their gear after calls and after shifts.

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UPDATE 10:31 a.m., Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 - Chico City Manager Mark Orme has confirmed to Action News Now that one more firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19. Making the total number of firefighters infected with the disease to seven.

Orme also added that 21 other firefighters are either isolating or quarantined because of the outbreak.

We will update this article with a complete story.

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CHICO, Calif. - The coronavirus has hit the Chico Fire Department with six firefighters testing positive.

City Manager Mark Orme says the city's human resources team is working closely with the fire department and public health to ensure the safety of employees and the community.

A contingency plan was already in place and Orme says the fire department is fully operational.

Orme says even if matters became worse, the city would call upon the California Mutual Aid System to keep staffing levels where they need to be to provide fire protection.

Prior to this outbreak, the City of Chico had seen only four positive cases among all 400 or more employees.

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California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1200624

Reported Deaths: 19116
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3908917623
San Bernardino921641129
Riverside857691437
San Diego80018997
Orange767611577
Kern40632448
Fresno37994481
Sacramento36579566
Santa Clara33732476
Alameda29116511
San Joaquin25741502
Contra Costa23571261
Stanislaus21585424
Tulare20634308
Ventura19379175
Imperial15960356
San Francisco15377160
Monterey14753116
San Mateo14148170
Sonoma12049157
Merced11550179
Santa Barbara11340135
Kings1068787
Solano1004481
Marin7704129
Placer635468
San Luis Obispo612936
Madera605085
Yolo473775
Shasta471847
Santa Cruz435828
Butte389459
Sutter314415
Napa298817
El Dorado23154
Yuba198110
San Benito186516
Lassen17733
Tehama164925
Mendocino148522
Nevada11849
Tuolumne9818
Lake90919
Glenn8918
Humboldt8509
Colusa6946
Siskiyou6242
Amador55416
Mono5453
Calaveras47822
Del Norte3131
Inyo29016
Plumas2050
Trinity1580
Modoc1310
Mariposa1302
Alpine500
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Chico
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Above average temperatures and sunny skies will be in in the forecast for the next 7 days. Sadly, no rain.
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