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El Paso firefighter tests positive for virus; 30-40 other firefighters quarantined

An El Paso Fire Department truck is seen in this file photo.

El Paso, Texas -- An El Paso city firefighter has tested positive for the coronavirus, city officials acknowledged Monday, and dozens of others were quarantined.

The disclosure came from City Manager Tommy Gonzalez in response to a question about testing of first-responders during a virtual meeting of City Council.

Gonzalez said the firefighter diagnosed with the virus had been traveling in early March and is currently not showing any symptoms.

He indicated that as many as 30 to 40 other firefighters, including some who had also traveled, were being quarantined at present.

Gonzalez said he could not elaborate further due to health privacy laws.

Fire officials later said that the infected firefighter was not allowed to go back to work since coming back from the trip and had not been in contact with other firefighters.

Officials said it is fire department policy for any firefighter traveling outside the Borderland area to self-quarantine for 14-days upon return. To date, an estimated 90 fire personnel have been off at some point due to travel.

The city said a total of 130 first-responders and healthcare providers had been tested for the virus thus far. Aside from the firefighter, the only other known positive case involves a doctor at Las Palmas Medical Center. That confirmed case was also announced Monday.

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Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the former Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.


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