BLACKSTONE, Va. (WRIC) — The Blackstone Volunteer Fire Department announced on Facebook that it is currently dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.
In its post, the department said due to the recent weather, many members had to spend several days and overnights in the station in order to be sure they could respond quickly to citizen’s calls. While in the building they said members do not wear their masks 24/7.
“While some may place prejudice against our lack of mask-wearing, I ensure you, when it comes to ensuring your safety on our responses to your emergency, we used every precaution during this Pandemic,” the Department’s post said.
Blackstone’s mayor said five volunteers have tested positive and other are awaiting their test results.
The department prepared food for public servants during the recent power outage, but said during their meal deliveries their exposure time was limited. The CDC defines an exposure as being within 6-feet of someone for 15 minutes or longer.
BVFD said it is testing all possibly exposed members, are adjusting their response protocols and that the station is “undergoing decontamination.”
“Once again, we are heartbroken concerning the events that have unfolded and our only desire was to ensure the safety and comfort of others during this storm,” the department said in its announcement. “We certainly wish the best of health and safety to each and every one of our viewers!”
Meal deliveries have been relocated to the Soldier of Mercy Motorcycle Ministry at 417 Church St until further notice.