The Hawai‘i Fire Department reported on Wednesday that a Battalion Chief assigned to the 2nd Battalion headquartered at the Waikoloa Fire Station has tested positive for COVID-19. A total of five personnel are currently self-quarantined as a precaution; all are asymptomatic.
The Battalion Chief, who also remains asymptomatic, took the COVID-19 test on Saturday in compliance with pre/post travel requirements to O‘ahu. On Monday he received the positive test result, and notified command. After notification of the positive result, the Fire Department disinfected the entire Waikoloa Fire Station. Fire Chief Darren Rosario assures the community that emergency responses will not be affected.
“All Fire personnel considered possible contacts will follow Department protocols and will receive two COVID-19 tests over the course of this week and next week. They must receive negative tests in order to return to work, following Department protocols,” Chief Rosario said. The Battalion Chief remains in isolation, monitored by the Department of Health.
The Department offered separate living quarters at designated rentals for quarantined Fire personnel, but the staff chose to self-quarantine at home. The Department’s Emergency Medical Services Bureau provided care packages including masks, disinfecting products, and hand sanitizers for the affected personnel’s homes.
“I am sincerely grateful for the responsible actions of our entire Big Island community towards keeping COVID-19 off of our Island,” Chief Rosario said.