Two Manteca firefighters have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus but are still healthy and do not have any symptoms.
Officials citing privacy laws declined to state whether the firefighters were among the four self-quarantined at their homes a week ago Thursday after learning they had been in contact with a Manteca patient that eventually died from the coronavirus.
The revelation came on Friday when the fourth coronavirus death was reported in San Joaquin County. Overall confirmed cases were pegged at 93 — up 10 from the previous 24 hours.
Manteca firefighters and police stressed the city’s first responders are at full manpower and ready to respond to calls.
Lantz Rey, a Manteca fire marshal serving as a public information officer for the city’s emergency command center, noted firefighters and Manteca District Ambulance personnel responding to all medical calls — including non-COVID-19 related illnesses — will arrive in full personal protective equipment, mask, gown, gloves and face shield or eye wear.
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that people can be infected and transmit the virus without getting sick or showing any symptoms. Previously such precautions were only taken on calls involving respiratory patients.
Manteca Police Lt. Stephen Schuler said police dispatchers are now screening calls to determine if the person calling for service or anyone else in their household is showing symptoms such as a fever or cough that could possibly be tied to the coronavirus. If so, officers will respond wearing gloves and face masks.
Some officers have opted to wear gloves and masks on all calls given how people can be infected without being ill and transmit the virus.
Officials are doing what they can to assure the health and safety of first responders as well as the public.
If firefighters are police officers become aware they have been exposed to a person with the coronavirus they are required to be quarantined for 14 days. In doing so it reduces first responder manpower.
City parks remain closed and all non-essential travel has been prohibited based on emergency orders issued by county health officials.
City maintaining center
to answer questions
The City of Manteca emergency command center is operating daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. to try and answer what questions they can from citizens emailing or calling in as well as to monitor the ongoing situation.
The phone number for questions related to the coronavirus emergency is 456-8854 while the email is email@example.com
The City of Manteca is also maintaining a coronavirus update site on its website at ci.manteca.ca.us
It is on top of the home page. Click on the banner and it sends you to resources dealing with the pandemic from the Centers for Disease Control to state and county agencies. There is also information regarding what businesses can remain open as well as possible help with virus related financial issues.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org