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Santa Barbara County Fire engine crew may have been exposed to the coronavirus
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Santa Barbara County Fire engine crew may have been exposed to the coronavirus

A Santa Barbara County Fire Department engine crew may have been exposed to the coronavirus while on a medical assistance call Tuesday, and officials are awaiting test results from the patient before testing the firefighters.

County Fire Capt. Daniel Bertucelli said he couldn’t reveal whether the engine company is stationed in the North or South County, but he said the crew and other first responders were dispatched for a woman having a medical emergency.

She was assisted and transported to a hospital, where her symptoms began to evolve into those of COVID-19, Bertucelli said.

He said the engine company and other first responders were immediately notified and put into quarantine, and although the equipment used in the call had already been normally decontaminated, additional sanitation measures were taken.

The patient has been tested for COVID-19, and officials are awaiting the results, which could take as much as 48 hours.

If they come back positive for the virus, the firefighters will then be tested, Bertucelli said. In the meantime, they will remain in quarantine.

Coronavirus Series: Local impact and reaction to COVID-19 on the Central Coast

We are working hard to get answers about the impact and reaction to the coronavirus in Santa Barbara County, this is a collection of those stories. Do you have a question about coronavirus in Santa Barbara County? The Santa Maria Times news staff will work to answer your questions. Post them to our Facebook page, or email MCooley@SantaMariaTimes.com.  You can support the work of local journalists working hard in your hometown by signing up for a News+ Membership online

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News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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