Hawaii Fire Department battalion chief tests positive for COVID-19

The Hawaii Fire Department reported on Wednesday that a West Hawaii battalion chief assigned has tested positive for COVID-19.

The battalion chief was headquartered at the Waikoloa Fire Station, the Hawaii Fire Department said in a Wednesday press release. A total of five personnel are currently self-quarantined as a precaution; all are asymptomatic.

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The battalion chief took the COVID-19 test on Saturday in compliance with pre-/post-travel requirements to Oahu. On Monday, he received the positive test result, and notified command.

After notification of the positive result, the department disinfected the entire Waikoloa Fire Station.

Fire Chief Darren Rosario said the community can be assured that emergency responses will not be affected.

“All Fire personnel considered possible contacts will follow Department protocols and will receive two COVID-19 tests over the course of this week and next week. They must receive negative tests in order to return to work, following Department protocols,” Rosario said.

The Battalion Chief remains in isolation and is being monitored by the Department of Health. He remains asymptomatic.

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The department offered separate living quarters at designated rentals for quarantined fire personnel, but the staff chose to self-quarantine at home. The department’s Emergency Medical Services Bureau provided care packages including masks, disinfecting products, and hand sanitizers for the affected personnel’s homes.

“I am sincerely grateful for the responsible actions of our entire Big Island community towards keeping COVID-19 off of our Island,” Rosario said.

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