I-TEAM: 5 Cleveland Heights firefighters test positive for COVID-19

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has learned five Cleveland Heights firefighters tested positive for COVID-19, just the latest local fire department to get hit with an outbreak within its ranks.

Cleveland Heights Fire Chief Dave Freeman confirmed five of his firefighters have been taken off the job to recover from COVID-19 although he says they all have mild or no symptoms.

A sixth firefighter also was tested, but those results came back negative.

“We are deep cleaning the stations, trucks and equipment,” Freeman added. 

This week, the I-TEAM also reported the Mansfield Fire Department had 11 firefighters in quarantine with COVID-19 related concerns and two test positive for COVID-19.

And only weeks ago, a Cleveland firefighter died from complications tied to COVID-19.

All this comes with the number of coronavirus cases soaring in Ohio overall.

Certainly, first responders find themselves at very high risk since they deal directly with sick patients every day.

Earlier, the I-TEAM revealed a study done by MetroHealth Medical Center looking at COVID-19 and Cleveland first-responders. The study found some had become infected but didn’t know it. However, doctors also found the number of infections among first-responders in the study to be low. They believe a reason for that could be emergency crews doing all they can to protect themselves with proper equipment.

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