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Due To COVID-19 Outbreak, A Third Of Springfield’s Fire Department In Quarantine

Springfield Municipal Center West
Mary Hansen
NPR Illinois

A COVID-19 outbreak among Springfield firefighters has led the city to put two fire engines temporarily out of operation.

One engine is at the fire station on Koke Mill Road and the other on Stevenson Drive. But both are part of multi-engine stations, and city officials say all stations are open and providing service.

Seventy-three firefighters are currently in quarantine, including 19 who have tested positive for the virus. Among the confirmed cases is Chief Allen Reyne – who also serves as Springfield’s point person on the COVID-19 coordinated response team with Sangamon County.

“While this is not ideal, it is our current reality with so many of our members who have been exposed,” said Reyne in a news release. “The department will begin working with our regional hospitals to determine if our methodology for quarantine, which we have used since day one, is still supported by CDC.”

Since the initial news of the outbreak Monday, seven more firefighters have tested positive and the number in quarantine has nearly doubled. There are 214 firefighters employed by the department.

According to a news release earlier this week, the outbreak began with an asymptomatic individual at an outdoor gathering.

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