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Precautions underway for a second possible Aroostook County COVID-19 exposure

Fort Fairfield public safety director says there may have been a group COVID-19 exposure during a joint FD-PD training exercise.
Credit: NCM

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — Members of the Fort Fairfield Fire-EMS, as well as Fort Fairfield PD, may have been exposed to coronavirus, COVID-19 by a person at a training session this past week, according to a Facebook post by the Town's public safety director. 

Fort Fairfield Director of Public Safety, Shawn Newell, posted on Facebook Sunday saying Deputy Chief Tim Browning notified him about possible COVID-19 exposures. 

Newell said emergency preparedness procedures were implemented immediately, and town managers were notified. 

Five FD-EMS and one police officer might have been exposed, according to Newell. Newell believes the exposures are low-risk, but town officials notified the CDC and Northern Light A.R. Gould officials nonetheless. 

Newell said the people impacted are isolating, and details of COVID-9 tests are being worked on with officials at NLARG.  

"While we believe this exposure is low and isolated, we are taking all necessary precautions to protect our staff and public," said Newell in the Facebook post. "A thorough sanitizing of the areas where staff had been was disinfected, according to (CDC) guidelines. The Town Office was not affected, and we do not anticipate any disruptions to normal town office business."

Newell went on to say, "police department staffing has been affected. The Aroostook County Sheriff's Department will be assisting the Town with police coverage and answering complaints until we are cleared to return our staff back to work safely. At no point in time will we have any lapse in law enforcement coverage. All complaints and requests for service will be answered. We also do not anticipate any disruptions for fire coverage for the Town, either."

Officials continue to investigate the potential exposure. 

NEWS CENTER Maine will update this story when more details become available. 

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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