coronavirus outbreak

Another Attleboro Firefighter Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Bringing Department's Total to 12

To date, 10 firefighters and two dispatchers from the Attleboro Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Attleboro Firefighters Local 848.

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Another firefighter in Attleboro, Massachusetts, has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the department's total to 12 total cases of the virus, the union announced Saturday.

To date, 10 firefighters and two dispatchers have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Attleboro Firefighters Local 848.

The firefighters and dispatchers continue to quarantine and are being monitored according to public health guidelines, the union said.

One firefighter who had been hospitalized after becoming "very ill" has since been released from Rhode Island Hospital and is now home receiving further treatment due to the severity of symptoms, Local 848 President Paul Jacques said.

"This coronavirus outbreak has been a very taxing and strenuous time for all involved,” Jacques said. “All of us are relieved to have our Member out of the hospital and back home with us and family. There is still a long road of recovery ahead, but Local 848 will ensure this Member and all Members tested positive will be cared for to the fullest extent.”

The first round of testing for all members, dispatchers and day staff has been completed, Jacques said. The majority have tested negative, with a handful still awaiting results.

The firefighters union is working with state and local health officials, state legislators and Fire Chief Scott Lachance to hold a Zoom meeting to evaluate the situation and determine any further necessary action.

Health officials began "aggressive testing" after learning of one firefighter who tested positive. The outbreak was largely isolated to one shift, according to officials.

Lachance has said the department remains "fully operational," and residents are encouraged to call 911 when there is a need.

Jacques said Saturday the union cannot thank Attleboro residents and the firefighting community enough for the overwhelming show of support.

Attleboro is one of 23 communities in the state that is considered at the highest risk for transmission of the virus.

The city was added to the red category on the state's latest coronavirus risk assessment map released on Wednesday due to having more than 8 cases per 100,000 people.

The most recent data shows there have been 60 new cases and 73 positive tests in Attleboro over the past two weeks. The average daily incidence rate has reached 9.3 people per 100,000 in a city with a population of approximately 45,000.

On Saturday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 600 new confirmed coronavirus cases and an additional 17 deaths. There have now been 9,292 confirmed deaths and 131,814 cases in the state. 

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