8 Long Beach firefighters infected with coronavirus; number of city cases hits 41

Eight Long Beach Fire Department firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in self-isolation at their homes, officials said Wednesday.

Four of the eight infected firefighters are residents of Long Beach, the other four live outside of the city. Citywide, the number of novel coronavirus cases is at 41, according to a city news release.

While the exact location and origin of the firefighters’ exposures remain under investigation, city officials said Long Beach Fire Station 11, located at 160 E. Market St., has been identified as “one common location where those who tested positive had recently worked.” 

“The treatment of these firefighters, along with all of our current positive cases, remains our highest priority,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said. “We are aware of the impact of these results on our community and understand the significant concerns this news brings. We are working diligently to identify potential situations where additional exposure may have occurred.”

Since the firefighters tested positive, city employees who may have been exposed have been notified, and Fire Station 11 and all fire apparatus are being sanitized with station operations set to resume once the cleaning is competed, officials said.

“Our Long Beach Firefighters are community heroes, and they have been on the frontlines every day of this health crisis,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to provide support to these firefighters and their families.”

The Long Beach Health Department is investigating the coronavirus cases and the details surrounding the exposures, as well as beginning investigations related to anyone who may have come into contact with someone who tested positive and conducting additional testing as needed.

On Tuesday the city reported a woman in her 50s had died after suffering complications of COVID-19.