Nikiski fire department staff quarantine after 3 test positive

Jun 3, 2020

Credit Kenai Peninsula Borough

Three staff members of the Nikiski Fire Department have tested positive for coronavirus. They and eight others have been quarantined to help control the spread, and all the other staff members in the department have been tested, according to the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

The local public health department is working on contact tracing to determine who else may have been in contact with them and who else may need to quarantine, but so far, no patient transports were exposed, according to the borough.

Brenda Ahlberg, public information officer for the borough, told the borough assembly on Wednesday that the borough is not planning to release any additional information about the cases to protect individuals’ privacy, but is doing everything they can to support the employees and the department. 

"I do also want to emphasize that the Nikiski fire family, they've been affected by this disease, and as a result, as their families support each other and everybody continues to serve their community to get through this challenge together," she said. "We're here to provide them any resources that they and their families need.

Those eleven people comprise a whole shift. That means Nikiski is short a shift and in need of extra personnel. Staff from Central Emergency Services and Kenai Fire Department, according to the borough.

The three cases in the fire department were included in yesterday’s count of new COVID-19 cases. Today, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 18 new cases across the state, including six on the Kenai Peninsula. The new cases include four in Homer, one in Soldotna, and one in an unspecified community in the borough.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at eearl@kdll.org.