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3 Highland Park paramedics in quarantine after possible coronavirus exposure

File Photo (Highland Park Fire Department) | Photo: Sam Borcia / Lake and McHenry County Scanner.

Three Highland Park Fire Department personnel are in quarantine after coming into contact with a patient who may have been exposed to the virus, officials said.

The City of Highland Park said that the three members responded on Monday to an emergency call at a home in Highland Park. They cared for a patient who may have been exposed to COVID-19 following recent international travel.

The paramedics sought medical guidance from Highland Park Hospital and were immediately quarantined after returning to the fire station, City of Highland Park Communications Manager Amanda Civitello said.

The paramedics did not respond to any public calls or interact with other personnel following their return to the station, Civitello said.

The ambulance they were operating has been disinfected and undergone a deep anti-viral cleaning, Civitello said.

They will remain quarantined pending results from the patient’s COVID-19 test. Results are expected by Tuesday evening.

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According to NorthShore University Health System, the fire department personnel have a very low risk of contracting coronavirus.

“The Fire Department has a staffing plan in place to ensure continuity of service delivery in the event that personnel are exposed to any symptomatic case of COVID-19 or otherwise require quarantine,” Highland Park City Manager Ghida Neukirch said.

Residents can help support first responders by informing emergency dispatchers of any symptoms the patient or others on site may be experiencing, disclosing recent travel or contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, Civitello said.

Those who suspect they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms such as high fever, cough, and shortness of breath, should contact their medical provider.

General questions regarding coronavirus can be answered by calling the Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 hotline at 800-889-3931 or emailing dph.sick@illinois.gov.


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