Coronavirus Infects Three DC Firefighters; 141 Quarantined

March 20, 2020
Despite so many D.C. Fire and EMS members sidelined in connection with COVID-19, department officials say that all units are in service and working at full capacity.

Editor's note: Find's complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Three Washington, D.C., firefighters have tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing more than 141 members of the department to self-quarantine.

And officials said Thursday that the number of quarantined members could rise following the discovery of the third firefighter infected with COVID-19, WUSA-TV reports. DC Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean said the district's health department is contact tracing all the patients, as well as department members, the third firefighter could have exposed to the virus.


"The department has implemented an infection control group that is working very closely with D.C. Health so that we can assess and monitor and evaluate," Dean said at a Thursday press conference, adding that the "health and safety of our residents and our members is my top priority."

Despite the loss of more than 140 members, Dean said the quarantine won't affect the department responding to emergencies. All units are in service at full capacity for the D.C. department, according to WUSA.


"To the men and women of the D.C. fire department who have volunteered to backfill all these members that are out, I must tell you I'm extremely proud of you for taking care of your community, and thank you very much," Dean said.