Contact: Brenda Ahlberg, PIO
907-231-6505 or firstname.lastname@example.org June 03, 2020
COVID-19 FIRE PERSONNEL TEST POSITIVE AT NIKISKI FIRE DEPARTMENT (Nikiski, Alaska):
Eleven members of the Nikiski Fire Service Area have been quarantined due to the possibility of COVID-19 exposure. Currently, three of the eleven individuals have tested positive; the cases are already included in the state case count. Testing has also been completed for all of the department’s personnel. The local public health department continues the contact investigation to determine others that may need to be tested or self-monitor. “Our first priority is to ensure that all of our personnel and their families have the resources they need during this time,” said Bryan Crisp Nikiski Fire Chief. “We’ll continue to follow the CDC protocols as well as the recommendations of the borough’s physician director.” Recommendations include donning and doffing personal protective equipment, apparatus and equipment decontamination and added custodial measures. Public Health confirmed that no patient transports were exposed.
Electing to quarantine one of the three response shifts elevates the level of precautionary measures, which has activated a continuity of operations plan to backfill needed personnel. Personnel from Central Emergency Services and Kenai Fire Department have agreed to assist Nikiski Fire. The Borough Incident Management Team created the plan due to the known, close proximity of first responders that are required to work and live together. “The plan was important to have in place knowing the likelihood of possible exposure among the fire personnel and volunteers,” explained Dan Nelson Borough Incident Commander.
The Borough will continue to support the Nikiski Fire Service Area; however, no additional public information will be released to protect the privacy of the affected personnel. Per the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include any of the following: fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, decreased appetite, diminished sense of taste or smell, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, muscle/joint aches, nausea, rash, rigors, runny nose, sore throat, or sputum production. The current COVID-19 Testing guidance (05/19/20) can be downloaded at http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/SiteAssets/Pages/HumanCoV/AKCOVIDTestingGuidance.pdf
Alaska Department of Health & Social Services:
Facebook page @alaska.dhss and Twitter page Alaska_DHSS
Alaska Department of Health & Social Services dedicated webpage: coronavirus.alaska.gov
Brenda Ahlberg, Kenai Peninsula Borough Public Information Officer 907-231-6505
Facebook and Twitter @KPBalerts
Borough Interagency Blog www.kpboem.com