The City of Kent Unified Command issued a press release Friday that stated a Kent firefighter tested positive for COVID-19. 

The employee is not a resident of Portage County and was counted as a case in another county.

According to the press release, the firefighter and his family are doing well. He has not worked since March 8, when he began to display symptoms. Paramedics began wearing protective masks earlier than that to help reduce the risk of exposure to patients.

The press release says the city will research all the calls and medical runs the employee went on to identify any citizens at risk. 

“Our Unified Command in response to COVID-19 has been planning for these developments. We have been preparing for cases in Portage County and among Kent employees not as a matter of ‘if” but ‘when,”’ the press release said. “We are cognizant of the risk to other firefighters this employee had contact with, and we are addressing those employees and those potential cases.”

The west side fire station is closed temporarily for cleaning and other employees who were potentially exposed are being isolated. Kent Fire Station 1 is staffed to handle service calls; staff is reduced, but service will be maintained. 

According to the press release, the City of Kent’s precautionary measures limited the potential spread of COVID-19 and all employees are being monitored for symptoms.

“We will continue to make the health and safety of our residents and our employees our number one priority.”

Madison MacArthur is the editor-in-chief. Contact her at mmacarth@kent.edu.

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