Troy closes fire station after COVID-19 outbreak

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News
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Positive tests for COVID-19 among public safety workers prompted closures of facilities in Macomb and Oakland counties on Monday, officials said.

Most recently, positive tests among some of Troy’s firefighters prompted the closure of one of the city’s six fire stations, officials said Monday.

Fire Chief Dave Roberts stressed the closure of  the station should not impact service to either residents or businesses and said any calls would be handled by other fire stations. About 30 firefighters at the closed fire hall are under quarantine.

Fire Chief Dave Roberts

"A few of our volunteer members at one of our six stations have recently tested positive for COVID-19,” Roberts said in a release. “As a precaution, we have decided to temporarily close that particular station for the next 14 days.”

Roberts said no personnel from the other five stations have been affected. The release did not identify which station was closed, and fire officials would not say which one it is.

Troy's department is primarily volunteer with more than 150 firefighters.

While it is unknown how each firefighter contracted the virus, these members have been in contact with each other on fire runs and other official business.

“I commend Chief Roberts and the Troy Fire Department for taking these bold and decisive steps to keep both our Troy residents and Troy firefighters safe," Mayor Ethan Baker said. "I am greatly comforted to know how well this is being handled at all levels.” 

The closure comes the same day the city of Warren closed its city hall, district court and police department to the public because of reported cases of virus among city employees. Warren Mayor James Fouts said Monday at least 30 city employees have tested positive.

“This is the first spike we have had since March, when we closed down buildings until summer,” the mayor said. “Now it is active again and that’s why we are closing things once again to try and stop the spread.

“That’s why we are closing these buildings, encouraging workers to get tested and stay healthy,” said Fouts. “We had one city administrator in his 50s who was ill this weekend; he had to be hospitalized and put on a ventilator. He appeared a very healthy man and and has been around to several buildings and in several groups of employees. It's anyone guess where he might have been exposed or exposed others.”

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said nine of his officers have tested positive for the virus.

Fouts suspects some of the Warren cases stem from last week’s election and hundreds of voters going to the polls and city offices.

“At one point, we had 600 people in line at city hall, many of them not wearing masks,” said Fouts. “Some felt it was their right not to wear masks, and I believe that has lead to other people becoming exposed.

Fouts said some members of the public had “let their guard down” and congregating in groups and not wearing masks or practicing safe distancing as recommend by local and state health officials.

“I know we have tried to practice all safeguards in our city buildings but what people do after work is anyone’s guess: pubs, or parties, or events,” Fouts said. “Did you see the Notre Dame-Clemson football game the other night? Thousands of college students ran down on the field when Notre Dame won. People are acting like the virus is over or not real.”

As of Monday afternoon, the state has had 216,804 confirmed cases and 7,640 deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In Oakland County there have been 25,853 confirmed cases of the virus and 1,204 deaths. Macomb County has had 22,242 confirmed cases and 1,072 deaths.

(248) 338-0319

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