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 in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties

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