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First responders test negative for coronavirus after exposure to COVID-19 patient

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Four San Juan County first responders have tested negative for the coronavirus after being exposed to a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 and failed to disclose symptoms to dispatchers.

San Juan County announced on April 21 that two San Juan County volunteer firefighters and two San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputies tested negative for the virus, according to a press release.

The first responders were exposed on April 10 to a patient who was transported by paramedics.

The patient did not disclose any coronavirus-related symptoms to San Juan County dispatch. The first responders did not wear eye protection or masks on the call because of the patient's answers to dispatch.

It was the New Mexico Department of Health that informed the four the patient was infected.

The incident led San Juan County firefighters to wear eye protection, surgical masks and gloves on all medical calls. If there are coronavirus concerns, they will upgrade their equipment.

Steps were taken by the agencies to sanitize and disinfect spaces and vehicles the first responders may have occupied.

The latest:Here are the latest coronavirus updates from San Juan County, Four Corners region

The four first responders were in quarantine until the test results were negative.

Deputies were cleared for duty and the firefighters are set to return to duty on April 24.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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