PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

3/25/2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 032520
Subject:
Eight Long Beach Firefighters Test Positive for COVID-19
Contact:
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS (Media inquiries only)
jic@longbeach.gov (Media inquiries only)
RESIDENTS: Please call 562.570.INFO




Long Beach, CA - Eight Long Beach Fire Department firefighters tested positive for COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus disease. All eight of the infected firefighters are in stable condition and are in self-isolation at home.

The new cases bring the total of confirmed cases in Long Beach to 41. Four of the firefighters are Long Beach residents and are included in the total, while four others are residents of other areas.

“Our Long Beach Firefighters are community heroes, and they have been on the frontlines every day of this health crisis,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We are doing everything we can to provide support to these firefighters and their families. We recognize the seriousness of this latest development and are committed to doing all that we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Long Beach.”

While the exact location and origin of exposure remains under investigation, Fire Station 11, located at 160 E. Market Street, 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,” said City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis. “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.”

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is actively investigating details surrounding these exposures to better identify how to minimize further risk to the community, as well as other public safety and City personnel.

Since learning of these positive test results, the City took the following actions:

  • Notified additional City employees who may also have been exposed.
  • Fire Station 11 and all fire apparatus assigned there is being sanitized and operations will resume once that has been completed.
  • Health Department has initiated the contact investigations and will be conducting additional testing as needed.

This news should not deter the public from calling 9-1-1 when needing emergency assistance. Long Beach Fire and Police Departments continue to take extensive precautions to safeguard fellow first responders and the public with whom they interact. The City’s public safety dispatchers are asking additional COVID-19 screening questions for all calls for service that request or require in-person contact by first responders, personal protective equipment has been distributed to public safety personnel, and modifications to fire and police response operations are being made.

“As we wage this war on COVID-19 in our community, we do it with the understanding that there is significant risk to our personnel as we respond to the needs of those we serve,” Fire Chief Xavier Espino said. “The health of our public safety personnel is being monitored daily and we will continue to provide the necessary support to our employees and their families as we move forward.”

The City’s public health efforts will continue to focus on containing the spread and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 in the community. For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep our residents safe, visit www.longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.