[In the player above, watch previous FOX 8 News coverage from May 2023, when the World Health Organization announced the coronavirus pandemic no longer qualifies as a global emergency.]
Initially, one dispatcher tested positive for coronavirus and was at home in quarantine, scheduled to return to work on Friday, Aug. 25. That night, a city detective tested positive and two other administrative workers also underwent tests, Hartung said.
“With that amount in such a short amount of time, I felt it was necessary to close the station to the public … until I could determine the extent of the problem and not expose the general public to a potential issue as well as protect the department’s [personnel],” Hartung wrote in an email to FOX 8 News.
The department briefly resumed COVID safety protocols, minimizing contact between workers, handling minor complaints via phone, keeping road units out of the station and cleaning thoroughly.
The two administrative workers tested negative and no new cases have been reported since. Those who tested positive are still under quarantine. The station has since resumed normal operations, Hartung said.
“Not that we had many people who come here anyway,” Hartung said. “With the recent increases in COVID cases in general, we’ll adjust our operations as needed to help protect the general public and our [personnel] if and when the need arises.”
Several Ohio counties have seen a resurgence of COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks, including Erie and Lorain counties. The statewide average number of cases per 100,000 residents rose from 19 on July 13 to 43.1 on Aug. 10, according to the state health department.
Erie County reported 12.1 cases per 100,000 residents between June 29 and July 12, which rose to 41.7 cases between July 27 and Aug. 9, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard. Lorain County’s case rate rose from 23.2 cases per 100,000 residents to 51.3 cases in those same timeframes.