An employee in the Hattiesburg Fire Department has tested positive for COVID-19, making that individual the ninth City of Hattiesburg employee to test positive for the virus since March.
Samantha McCain, chief communications officer for the city, said officials learned of the positive case on June 17. The employee has not been to work since June 13, but served as a volunteer during mask distribution that day at Fire Station No. 8 at 104 Lamar Blvd.
“The city’s health care partners have advised that due to the limited interaction between volunteers and the public, as well as the level of (personal protective equipment) worn during this event, that virus transfer probability is limited,” McCain said. “However, the city is asking any resident who picked up a mask on Saturday at Fire Station No. 8 … to self-monitor for symptoms and to test if needed.”
McCain said fire department administration has traced direct exposure of this employee to two additional employees, who are now at home in self-isolation until they receive the results of their tests. Indirect exposure includes approximately 14 employees.
“All employees with direct and indirect exposure at Hattiesburg Fire Department have been notified of the presumptive positive test,” McCain said. “Tests will also be scheduled for any employee who was not directly exposed but who wants to be tested out of caution.
“These action steps are per the Exposure & Symptoms Protocol for COVID-19. This protocol was developed based on (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines and input from the Hattiesburg medical community. It relates to any employee who is either symptomatic or had direct or indirect exposure.”
Below is a list of testing availabilities in Hattiesburg:
- CE Roy COVID-19 testing site, 300 East 5th St. Hours are from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This site conducts tests free of charge.
- Cough & Fever Clinic/curbside COVID testing, 5904 U.S. 49. Hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Merit Health Wesley Resident Clinic, 103 Asbury Circle. Phone number is (601) 268-5200.
- Trust Care, 6176 U.S. 98. Hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone number is (601) 475-0444.
- SeMRHI Minor Care Clinic, 123 South 27th Ave. Hours are from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Phone number is (601) 450-3030.
The first positive case in the city was reported on March 30, when officials announced that an employee in Public Works tested positive for the virus. On April 3, it was discovered that an employee in Urban Development tested positive, and six days later the city reported another employee in Urban Development and an employee with the Hattiesburg Police Department had tested positive.
Another employee with the police department tested positive on April 28, followed by a fire department employee and a police department employee two days later. On May 4, the city announced and employee in the Grounds and Maintenance Division of Parks and Recreation had tested positive, and two days later it was confirmed another employee in that division was positive.
One city worker has died as a result of complications from the virus: Kévin Jordan, who served as the city’s housing coordinator in Urban Development. Jordan, 58, had worked for the city for 13 years.