Six Frankfort firefighters and one Frankfort Police officer are among those who tested positive for COVID-19, according to department officials.
Frankfort Fire and EMS Chief Wayne Briscoe said five of the firefighters have recovered and are back at work. The sixth is expected to return to work later this week.
Briscoe said the first positive cases were confirmed in late May. When they aware of a possible exposure, he said the two employees immediately affected were tested, but the results were negative. When three others ultimately tested positive, Briscoe said the department tested all employees and confirmed the other cases for a total of six.
“Once we figured it out, we implemented our plan to contain the spread, and we didn’t expose people unnecessarily,” he said.
Briscoe said the department began planning for these circumstances since the coronavirus became spreading through Kentucky. Like the pandemic itself, those plans continue to evolve, he said.
“We found things that worked and things that didn’t work,” he said. So far, the department has not implemented any "significant" changes in its precautions for COVID-19, he said.
Frankfort Assistant Police Chief Lynn Aubrey said one officer also tested positive. They do not know how the officer was exposed to the virus, and he remains in quarantine at this point.
Franklin County Sheriff Chris Quire said no one has tested positive in his office. Franklin County Human Resources Director Betty Jo Readnower would not confirm or deny whether any Franklin County firefighters had tested positive, citing health privacy laws.
Briscoe said there were five firefighters off work and in quarantine for three or four days. With 27 firefighters working on a typical day, losing that many people can cause staffing issues. Briscoe said those spots were covered internally.
As things continue to reopen, Briscoe said the threat of more cases is still very real.
“The virus is still prevalent,” he said. “Take best practices and implement those as best we can. We need to protect ourselves to the best of our ability.”