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An Augusta firefighter was hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.
The firefighter, who is back home and whose name was not released, is the Augusta Fire Department’s first case of coronavirus. Five other firefighters are in 14-day quarantine and the North Augusta Fire Station was immediately closed and cleaned by a private contractor per federal Centers for Disease Control guidelines, Fire Chief Roger Audette said.
“We as a department recognize the seriousness of this development and are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the spread of this virus,” Audette said in a statement released Wednesday.
It is unclear whether the firefighter is among the 1,254 confirmed and likely coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 1,226 on Tuesday. Of those, 1,174 have been confirmed positive, and 80 are likely positive.
A contact investigation is underway and all fire department employees have been told of the case. Maine CDC is contacting three other firefighters that had “limited contact” with the infected firefighter. Additional tests might occur.
All trucks and equipment, which are cleaned daily, have been cleaned again, according to the statement.
The north station workers did not come into contact with any other crews at Hartford, Bangor and Western Avenue fire stations. The fire department has “spread out our crews” to limit employee-to-employee contact,” Audette said.
Watch: The new way that Maine is classifying some COVID-19 cases