KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Three members of the Nikiski Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, and eight others were in quarantine pending test results, a spokesperson for the Kenai Peninsula Borough said Wednesday.
Brenda Ahlberg told The Associated Press said the 11 individuals were part of one shift. The borough’s emergency management office, in a release, said testing has been conducted for all department personnel. Ahlberg said that includes full-time staff and volunteers.
Nikiski Fire Chief Bryan Crisp said the department will continue to follow federal health protocols and recommendations from the borough’s physician director, which include wearing protective gear and cleaning equipment.
Personnel from other departments have agreed to help the Nikiski department, the release states.
The local public health department is investigating the cases as part of efforts to determine whether others may need to be tested, KSRM radio reported.
The state has reported 505 total cases of COVID-19 involving residents, with 10 deaths. It also has reported 23 cases involving nonresidents.
The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.