HONOLULU (KHON2) —
The Honolulu Fire Department has confirmed that a second fire fighter from the Kalihi Uka Fire Station has tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement HFD says:
“The HFD has temporarily shut down the fire station for cleaning and disinfecting. The fire station will re-open tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. All station personnel have been directed to stay home and self-monitor as recommended by the City and County of Honolulu’s Infectious Disease Officer. Overnight emergency response coverage will be handled by the two other fire stations in the Kalihi area.”
The Hawaii Fire Fighters association says all the fire fighters at the Kalihi Uka station will have to stay at home for 14 days, that’s about 30 people. The union says it’s a big deal and they cannot have fire stations go out of service.
“It will create a hazard for the public if we start eliminating stations like this,” said union President Bobby Lee. “We need to have some discussion with the department. This thing is moving really quickly. Every day there are changes.”
Lee also adds that station life can be challenging when trying to practice social distancing.
“We have community meals and sharing pots and pans and dishware so everybody has to be more cognizant of cleaning trying to keep everything clean, but the way the stations are set up does create some problems for our firefighter in trying to make sure everything is sterile,” said Lee.
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard also announced on Tuesday 18 officers have been tested for COVID-19. 14 of those test results came back negative. 2 are positive and the last 2 are pending. The two who tested positive are at home recovering.
“Any officer who test positive we are assuming they are catching this on-duty is duty-related. We do not know where obviously there is so many contacts an officer has it’s also impossible to narrow it down,” said Chief Ballard.
To slow the spread of the virus in our state, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell plans to send a letter to the President asking him to stop all nonessential travel to Hawaii. He says no one should be coming to Hawaii for vacation at this time, and some of the visitors coming in are placing a burden on resources.
“For example, we’ve had three folks arrive who didn’t have a home. And went to homeless shelters and now put a burden on the shelter to try and quarantine in place for 14 days,” said Mayor Caldwell. “We had a family of 4 show up, visitors with no hotel reservation, and we spent Friday of last week trying to find places for them to stay.”