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FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — Five members of the Fort Fairfield Fire Department and one police officer may have been exposed to COVID-19 on Saturday, according to Fort Fairfield Police Chief and Public Safety Director Shawn Newell.
The exposure occurred during a training session at the Fort Fairfield Fire Department, Newell said. Deputy Fire Chief Tim Browning notified Newell after the possible exposure and emergency plans were immediately put in place.
Newell wrote that while town officials believe the exposure poses a low-risk to emergency personnel, all necessary precautions have been taken, including notifying the Maine CDC.
All potentially infected personnel have been quarantined and the town is currently coordinating a June 21 appointment for testing with A.R. Gould Northern Light Hospital.
“While we believe this exposure is low and isolated,” Newell wrote, “we are taking all necessary precautions to protect our staff and public. A thorough sanitizing of the areas where staff had been was disinfected according to guidelines. The town office was not affected and we do not anticipate any disruptions to normal town business.”
In the meantime, the town plans to continue following CDC guidelines and the Aroostook County Sheriff’s office will assist with police coverage until all staff are cleared and able to return safely. As a result, Newell said the town does not anticipate any lapse in law enforcement or fire coverage.
“We will continue to keep the public up to date as we progress through this potential exposure,” Newell wrote. “Another press release will be issued at a later date to indicate normal operations have resumed.”