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Local fire departments are taking precautions

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Local fire departments are taking extra precautions to avoid exposing first responders to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Gainesville Fire Rescue posted on social media that if you call 911, you should be prepared to let dispatchers know whether you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms.

Alachua County Fire Rescue Chief Harold Theus said that dealing with infectious disease is nothing new, but they have implemented a “traveler’s alert.” Dispatchers ask for information about any flu-like symptoms, and they may also ask about recent travel.

First responders also practice social distancing as they interview patients and, if needed, place a mask on themselves and on patients if they will tolerate it. 

The fire departments have also increased their stock of isolation kits, including gowns, masks, and eye protection.

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