Three members of the Newport Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Office of the City Manager.

The firefighters, who the city says are not being identified due to patient privacy concerns, are all reportedly recovering in self-isolation at home and the Rhode Island Department of Health has been notified.

“At this time, there is no impact on our public safety readiness and the Newport Fire Department has implemented contingency staffing protocols”, a press release from the Office Of The City Manager states on Wednesday afternoon.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 566 Rhode Islanders had tested positive for COVID-19, ten Rhode Islanders have died from the disease, and another sixty are currently hospitalized.

The City continued, “as a City we are acutely aware of the challenge posed by COVID-19 and are acting out of an abundance of caution in following CDC and RIDOH guidelines”.

“At the outset of the outbreak, Newport Fire Department personnel began mandatory screenings prior to reporting for duty and adopted strict sanitization and social distancing practices. However, like other communities, Newport’s first responders are unfortunately not immune to the outbreak and their critical life-saving responsibilities place them at a higher risk of exposure than the general public,” the press release continues. 

As of Tuesday evening, eight Newport residents had tested positive for the disease.

“The City was fully prepared for this likelihood and will remain vigilant in ensuring the continued health and safety of the community throughout the current outbreak,” the press release states.

“We appreciate all Newport citizens and businesses who are following the state and federal guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and it remains vitally important that Newport residents stay at home, keep a six-foot distance from others, wash your hands often, clean surfaces that are touched, and avoid gatherings of more than 5 people, the press release concluded.

More information about the City’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on the City’s website at www.CityofNewport.com/COVID19.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.