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A Farmington firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19, the first case to be reported in San Juan County, N.M.
The positive test was collected Wednesday at an external assessment area and was confirmed positive Saturday by San Juan Regional Medical Center. The case is traveled-related, according to a news release issued Saturday by the hospital.
“Here at San Juan Regional Medical Center, we are prepared – not panicked,” the release said. “It is extra important that everyone be safe by continuing to follow the recommended CDC recommended guidelines for prevention.”
The individual was self-quarantining per New Mexico Department of Health guidelines, according to a news release issued by the city of Farmington.
The fire department was working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New Mexico health officials regarding when the individual will be able to return to work. The department was also in consultation with the New Mexico Epidemiology Office to determine if other employees or residents had been exposed.
Epidemiology found the employee was not at work during the contagious period, according to the city’s news release.
“No other employees were exposed, and no members of the public were exposed during this individual’s course of work,” the release said.
San Juan Regional Medical Center has received the results from about 100 tests, with only one confirmed case of COVID-19 as of Saturday, said spokeswoman Roberta Rogers.
The hospital reminded residents the best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus. People who are sick or experiencing symptoms are asked not to enter the Emergency Department.
The hospital offered these steps to protect yourself:
Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.Stay home when sick.Avoid close contact with people who are sick.No cases had been confirmed by testing in the five-county region of Southwest Colorado – La Plata, Montezuma, Archuleta, Dolores and San Juan – but only limited testing has been done.
Public health officials say residents should presume the virus is present in the community and exercise best practices for keeping themselves safe, including “social distancing” – maintaining a 6-foot distance from other people – and limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer.