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Two Baltimore County first responders test positive for coronavirus

Two Baltimore County first responders have tested positive for COVID-19, the county announced Friday.

A member of the Baltimore County Police Department and a member of the Baltimore County Fire Department’s support services have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a news release. They are the first public safety personnel in Baltimore County to test positive for the virus, according to the release.

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“I am grateful for the dedication of the brave men and women serving on the front lines, and we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our first responders,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the recommendations of federal, state, and local health officials as we work to serve those who serve us throughout this rapidly evolving public health crisis.”

Both individuals are recovering in self-quarantine, according to the release. The Baltimore County Heath Department is investigating contact they have had with others, according to the release.

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Citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a police spokeswoman declined to offer further information about the employee who has contracted the virus. A fire department spokeswoman was not immediately available for further details.

Both the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Fire Department are coordinating with the Department of Health to ensure proper precautions are taken to protect other department personnel and members of the public.

Both departments are following health department guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing work areas and equipment. Other steps include the use of appropriate personal protective equipment and daily “healthy check-ins” for all employees to ensure anyone with symptoms is sent home.

“Unfortunately, we just received confirmation regarding our first positive COVID-19 case of one of our officers,” said Police Chief Melissa Hyatt in a statement. "Our police officers are on the front lines in our community each day during this pandemic. Please continue to keep our officer in your thoughts during recovery.”

Hyatt’s statement asked community members to assist officers by remaining home and meeting officers outside on calls for service, when possible. "We will continue to take all possible precautions to keep both our workforce and our community safe,” she said.

Baltimore City on Thursday announced three city first responders, a city police officer and two emergency medical service providers, tested positive for the virus.

This story may be updated.

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