A Paterson police officer and fire captain have tested positive for the new coronavirus, according to sources.
It’s not clear whether the officer and the fire captain contracted the virus while on duty or were exposed somewhere else.
The infected police officer works at the South Paterson Substation while the infected fire captain worked out of the Hillcrest Fire Station.
City officials placed fire and police personnel who came into contact with the two cases under quarantine.
Police chief Ibrahim “Mike” Baycora told reporters earlier in the month that his men and women were taking precaution and had masks and gloves to protect themselves while responding to calls. Firefighters are using personal protective equipment to avoid exposure.
Dispatchers were also asking callers specific questions and relying the information to first responders to protect them against potential exposure. Health officials share a list of addresses, where a person has tested positive, with the public safety department, police and fire, to alert first responders.
“Unfortunately, our first responders cannot work from home and are needed on the frontline,” said mayor Andre Sayegh. “Therefore, we are taking all the necessary measures to protect those who protect us.”
Thirty-six people in Paterson tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. One person has died from the virus.