PITTSBURGH, PA (April 17, 2020)—A Pittsburgh Firefighter who tested positive for COVID-19 has recovered from the virus and returned to work.
The firefighter began experiencing flu-like symptoms on March 27 and immediately went into self-isolation at home. The firefighter tested positive for COVID-19 on April 1, but never required hospitalization.
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire officials identified seven other firefighters who came into contact with the firefighter on March 26 and placed them on self-quarantine at home. None of them developed symptoms. They also returned to work.
Over the past week, two additional Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officials tested positive for the virus, including a recruit and an officer. Police have had six total positive tests. One officer required hospitalization but is improving and hopes to be released soon. All others were placed on self-isolation.
Contact-tracing has been conducted in all cases. Police Command Staff is in daily contact with the officers and their families.
No one from EMS, Animal Care & Control or Emergency Management has tested positive for the virus.
“Other departments have seen 10, 15, even 20 percent of their personnel become ill, but we have so far avoided anything like that,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said. “This virus is volatile and dangerous, but we have implemented numerous measures that we hope will continue to keep our numbers as low as possible.”
In addition to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Public Safety personnel have been issued masks to be worn at all times while in public. First Responders’ are screened before entering facilities and anyone with a fever or any other symptom is sent home. In addition, social distancing is being observed at all times possible.
One Environmental Services worker sadly died of COVID-19 this week. A second employee who tested positive has not yet returned to work.
Note: The numbers of personnel being tested, self-isolations, self-quarantines and other COVID-19-related actions fluctuate daily, and as such Public Safety and the City will provide weekly updates on positive tests but cannot accommodate daily inquiries.