Public safety officials in Fort Fairfield potentially exposed to Covid-19

Published: Jun. 21, 2020 at 10:52 AM EDT
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Officials in Fort Fairfield say first responders in the community may have been exposed to Covid-19.

On June 20th, members of the Fort Fairfield Fire-EMS, and police departments may have been exposed to Covid-19 by an individual during training at the Fort Fairfield Fire Department.

Around 4 p.m. on Saturday, Deputy Fire Chief Tim Browning notified the Director of Public Safety Shawn Newell about the incident. Emergency action plans were immediately implemented and Town Manager Andrea Powers was advised of the incident.

Five members from Fort Fairfield Fire-Rescue and one police officer may have been exposed. Newell says although it's believed the exposure is low-risk, all necessary precautions have been taken and the Maine CDC. was notified and town officials are following all Maine CDC guidelines. The possibly affected staff members have been quarantined and the town is working with Northern Light A.R. Gould Northern Light Hospital to have all potentially exposed staff members tested for Covid-19 on Sunday, June 21st, and will continue to follow the guidelines outlined by Maine CDC.

"While we believe this exposure is low and isolated, we are taking all necessary precautions to protect our staff and public. A thorough sanitizing of the areas where staff had been was disinfected according to guidelines. The Town Office was not affected and we do not anticipate any disruptions to normal town office business," says Newell.

Newell continued "Police department staffing has been affected. The Aroostook County Sheriff's Department will be assisting the town with police coverage and answering complaints until we are cleared to return our staff back to work safely. At no point in time will we have any lapse in law enforcement coverage. All complaints and requests for service will be answered. We also do not anticipate any disruptions for fire coverage for the town either."

Newell, who also serves as Fort Fairfield's Chief of Police, says he was not working at the time of the exposure and will be at work in his office on Monday.

The public will be kept up-to-date as staff progress through this potential exposure.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.