8 Gulfport firefighters test positive for coronavirus

8 Gulfport firefighters test positive for coronavirus
Eight firefighters at Gulfport Fire Department have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the chief. (Source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Eight Gulfport firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt.

The positive cases are from two separate fire stations in Gulfport, said the chief. One firefighter is already back to work but seven remain at home recovering.

All eight cases were diagnosed within the last few weeks and were mostly asymptomatic, said the chief.

“We did have one fireman hospitalized overnight (last week) with some pretty significant symptoms and we’ve had 1-2 firemen with some mild symptoms but the rest have been asymptomatic,” said Beyerstedt.

All firemen are required to wear masks even inside the fire stations. That policy began more than a week ago.

“Our first case was a guy who had no symptoms but two of his friends that he runs around with both got sick and tested positive,” said the Gulfport fire chief. “So he decided to get tested and low and behold.. he was positive.”

“Our cases came in from people bringing it into the office. It isn’t because of people who were coming in to work sick... It was the asymptomatic people; then we found out too late that they were positive.”

“Since early on, we’ve had some decontamination equipment and spray that we’ve been using,” said Beyerstedt. “So we’re decontaminating and deep cleaning on a regular basis.”

How Gulfport Fire is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 cases

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