Ten Cottonwood firefighters contract COVID-19
COTTONWOOD – Ten firefighters from the Cottonwood Fire & Medical Department have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past few weeks, according to City Manager Ron Corbin.
Corbin said one of the 10 firefighters completed what he called “10-plus-one” — 24 hours of no COVID-19 symptoms, followed by 10 days of additional quarantine. The firefighter returned to work Thursday.
The rest are still quarantining, Corbin said, and only one firefighter has been physically ill with COVID-19 symptoms.
No firefighters have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, the city manager said.
“This discovery was the result of aggressive testing,” Corbin said.
The latest CDC recommendations include each COVID-19 positive-diagnosed person going a full 24 hours without any key symptoms, coughing and shortness of breath, and without the help of fever-reducing medications, before beginning 10 days of quarantining. In the case of non-symptomatic tests, those 10 days of quarantine can start right away.
Corbin mentioned at the Oct. 6 Cottonwood City Council meeting — nine days ago — that he learned a city employee had tested positive for COVID-19. That came up in a discussion over whether to proceed with the annual Walkin’ on Main wine-tasting and car show event in November.
The City Council decided against holding the event.
While Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski has had a face-covering requirement in place since mid-June, City Council members and some staff have only worn masks at public meetings when not able to practice six-foot distancing.
Corbin has no control over whether council members wear masks, but said he had doubled down this week on masks worn by city employees.
He said city staff will go above and beyond CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services recommendations. For example, when in a room with other people, even if more than six feet of distance can be maintained, masks will be worn anyway.
“We weren’t enforcing the wearing of masks as much as we could have been,” Corbin said. “We are now very aggressively enforcing the mask requirement among staff.”