JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mayor Lenny Curry released a statement Friday night, saying that 214 Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department firefighters have self-quarantined, and 14 have tested positive for COVID-19.
The mayor posted on Twitter:
I’ve been closely monitoring the health & safety of our fire fighters since Chief Powers first informed me earlier this week that two had tested positive for COVID. Our ability to protect and serve the citizens of Jacksonville is reliant on keeping our first responders healthy.— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) June 27, 2020
The next day, he tweeted that the entire fire department is being tested.
1. As I stated last night, our ability to protect and serve our citizens is reliant on keeping our first responders healthy. Today we began the testing of the entire fire department. pic.twitter.com/ecXx1Qab74— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) June 27, 2020
A week ago, sources told News4Jax there were 60 firefighters on self-quarantine.
In April, the Jacksonville City Council passed two emergency bills that allow former JFRD members and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office police and corrections officers to come out of retirement to help respond to the coronavirus crisis.
According to a spokesperson for the mayor, firefighters are expected to begin coming off quarantine in two days, and that retirees won’t be needed at this time.
The spokesperson said that starting immediately, firefighters will have new safety protocols. They include wearing masks at all times and being socially distanced at shift changes, while eating and while sleeping.