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New Haven reports 16 cases of coronavirus, first-responders showing symptoms


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — There are at least 16 cases of coronavirus in New Haven as of Tuesday, March 24. The outbreak now not only effecting residents of the Elm City, but the first-responders who keep the residents safe.

Several police officers and firefighters are showing symptoms of the virus, Mayor Justin Elicker reported in his daily outbreak update meeting Tuesday.

New Haven police says they have two officers showing symptoms, they’re being tested, and they’re in isolation as that happens.

In the fire department, the Chief says they have four to five showing symptoms, as well. They are also in isolation and have expedited testing as they are vital employees to the city.

The Chief reported during the mayor’s daily meeting Tuesday, they do a deep-cleaning of all trucks and gear as soon as someone either shows symptoms or is exposed to COVID-19. Plus, they do an investigation of everyone with whom they came into contact.

If we deem that they have been exposed or are symptomatic, we run a roster of the calls they were on, patients they may have treated. Also their entire shift, and the exchange shift. There’s an entire investigation.

– Chief John Alston/New Haven Fire Department

The mayor says his administration and first-responders are also working together to reducing the density at homeless shelters in the city to slow the spread of the virus not only among first-responders, but homeless individuals in the city.

As of Tuesday, they have 84 individuals living in hotels. And the police department is making sure Career High School is secure as the city moves forward with their plan to use that for homeless individuals if they need to be quarantined.

Some good news: New Haven Public Schools found hundreds of the much in-demand N-95 masks, but this is just a drop in the bucket compared to what first-responders need to keep them safe from the virus long-term.

If you have any protective gear to donate, you can drop it off at a firehouse near you. At a safe distance of at least 6 feet, of course.

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