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Five Scottsdale First Responders Are in Isolation for Coronavirus

A Scottsdale Fire Department truck
A Scottsdale Fire Department truck
Facebook/Scottsdale Fire Department

Five Scottsdale first responders who transported and evaluated a second Arizona person to test positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus are under isolation protocol, city officials said on Thursday.

"Emergency medical responders and health care institutions are trained and equipped to respond to infectious diseases," the city said in a statement. "Because the personnel involved followed standard practices and procedures to limit exposure to contagions, there is no cause for concern among anyone else who they subsequently may have cared for."

A four-person fire crew and a two-person ambulance crew from the city of Scottsdale treated and transported a man to a local hospital on Monday. That man later tested positive for the coronavirus.

After the man tested positive, the six-member crew was instructed to remain at home, avoid others in the home, and not share household items for the next 12 to 14 days per the direction of Maricopa County Public Health.

The first responders were instructed not to return to work until they are cleared to do so. One of the six responders, a firefighter, has already has been cleared and has returned to work, the city said. The other five remain in isolation but have not shown any symptoms of the virus.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Department of Public Health confirmed a presumptive positive coronavirus case, meaning while the public health lab test came back positive, it is still pending confirmatory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both known Arizona cases were in Maricopa County.

The presumptive positive patient was transported to HonorHealth's Scottsdale Osborn location; however, he has since returned home and is in isolation.

A press release from the Maricopa County Public Health website states that the case involves "a man in his 20s, [who] is not hospitalized and is recovering at home. This individual is a known contact of a presumed positive case outside of Arizona who had traveled to an area with community spread of COVID-19."

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After receiving the presumptive positive, public health officials interviewed close contacts of the case and recommended that they monitor themselves for symptoms and quarantine themselves for 14 days based on the risk of exposure.

The first case, which involved a member of the Arizona State University community who recently had traveled to Wuhan, China, where the viral outbreak began, has already been resolved. After nearly a month in isolation, he was cleared of the virus after multiple negative tests from the CDC and was released.

So far, 32 people in Arizona have been tested for the virus. Twenty-four cases have been ruled out and six are still pending. The other two are the presumptive positive and the since-resolved positive from January.

On Wednesday, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced that the state will be receiving a $500,000 federal grant to help support Arizona's response to COVID-19.

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