A Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19. The firefighter started feeling ill while off duty and immediately began self-isolating at home for more than a week. The firefighter did everything right by not coming into work. They had not experienced any symptoms while working, and it is believed that the risk of exposure to others was low. The firefighter remains at home and is feeling considerably better at the time of this release. They will be tested again and evaluated by the District’s medical provider prior to returning to work.
In early March, TVF&R established a COVID-19 Task Force to contend with the pandemic. The task force anticipated the possibility of personnel being affected by the illness and established staffing plans and a COVID-19 leave policy in case employees become sick or need to care for family. TVF&R’s first responders have been monitoring their temperature, even when they’re not on shift. Prior to beginning their shift or workday, all TVF&R personnel are required to take their temperature.
TVF&R’s firefighters and paramedics are using personal protective equipment and cleaning procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. TVF&R’s facilities remain closed to the public to limit exposure, and many non-response personnel are working from home. For employees working on site, we are following Governor Kate Brown’s directive and CDC-recommended social distancing and cleaning procedures.
TVF&R does not currently plan to quarantine fire stations or firefighters based on the prospect of exposure to COVID-19 due to the virus’ prevalence in all communities.