Five Ceres Fire Department firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19 but are all in stable condition and in self quarantine at home for 14 days following the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency guidelines.
Two of the firefighters are Ceres residents, while three others are residents of other areas of Stanislaus County. Due to health privacy rights, the city is unable to provide any information about the identity of the affected employees.
“Our Ceres firefighters have been on the frontlines of this health crisis,” said Ceres Fire Department Chief Kevin Wise. “We are doing everything we can to provide support to these firefighters and their families. We recognize the seriousness of this virus and are committed to doing all that we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Ceres.”
It is unknown where firefighters contracted the virus, but have all been in contact with each other on emergency incidents and other official business of the Ceres Fire Department. The city and the Ceres Fire Department are working diligently to identify potential situations where additional exposure may have occurred.
Since learning of these positive test results, Ceres Fire Department:
• Notified additional City employees who may also have been exposed;
• Tested all Ceres Fire Department personnel (only two personnel are awaiting results);
• Professionally sanitized all fire stations and fire apparatus.
This news should not deter the public from calling 9-1-1 when needing emergency assistance. Ceres Fire Department continues to take extensive precautions to safeguard fellow first responders and the public with whom we interact.
“Although we are acutely aware of the unease this might cause community members, our firefighters on the front lines are properly protected to render the safest aid possible,” said Wise. “Our entire staff is following the guidelines and parameters established by the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency for testing, quarantine and return-to-work protocol.”