Elmhurst Firefighter Tests Positive for COVID-19
Elmhurst, IL April 15, 2020 – The City of Elmhurst was notified that one of its firefighters tested positive for COVID-19. The firefighter was notified of the diagnosis on April 14th and immediately informed the Fire Chief and City Manager.
The employee’s last day at work was Thursday, April 2nd. All employees who may have had potential exposure to the diagnosed employee have been notified and offered testing, although none of these individuals are experiencing any symptoms.
The diagnosed employee is taking every precaution as directed by healthcare providers and will remain under quarantine for 14-days. Due to the timeline of this employee’s last work day, there is a low probability that any City staff or members of the public are at an increased risk for contracting COVID-19.
The Fire Department has taken immediate action to clean and disinfect any areas of the Fire Station that the employee may have come in contact with including the vehicles, equipment and work stations. This includes using a disinfectant machine inside the Fire Station, each vehicle, and on the apparatus floor.
Firefighters and Paramedics regularly train and adhere to all applicable safety precautions. During this pandemic, the safety precautions have increased as follows:
Following all pandemic guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for first responders.
Each Firefighter and Paramedic takes his/her temperature twice per day; those with temperatures over 100.4 are sent home for the shift to self-monitor their condition. They may return to work when their temperature returns to a normal baseline after at least 72 hours.
Firefighters and Paramedics wear a full complement of personal protective equipment (PPE) on calls, including masks, gowns, glasses and gloves.
Firefighters have limited patient contact and practice social distancing on each call to the extent possible.
The City of Elmhurst has plans in place to ensure that essential services are not affected due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19. Last month, the City cancelled all non-essential events and meetings and all City facilities began restricting public access. Mayor Morley also declared a civil emergency and issued an executive order in response to COVID-19.
“We continue to be challenged by this pandemic and regretfully inform the community of this incident,” states City Manager Jim Grabowski. “We continue to take the necessary precautions and assure you that Fire Department operations will not be impacted. City departments have been preparing for this scenario and we are ready to provide the community with the same responsive and superior customer service that our residents expect.”
A community wide effort is being made to encourage residents of Elmhurst to abide by the Governor’s Executive Order. Please visit Elmhurst.org/ElmhurstStaysHome to see what your fellow residents are doing to stay positive while the Stay at Home Order is in place. Visit Elmhurst.org for the latest updates from the City of Elmhurst on COVID-19.