Fairbanks Fire Department employee tests negative for COVID-19

A Fairbanks Fire Department employee who got sick after an out-of-state trip has tested negative for COVID-19, the City of Fairbanks said Saturday.

The city is still asking employees returning from out-of-state trips to self-quarantine, Teal Soden, communications director for the City of Fairbanks, said in a statement Saturday.

The city said Friday that the fire department employee had symptoms “that are consistent with COVID-19 and has recently returned from an area that has been hard hit with the virus.” Workers who were on shift with the employee had been sent home to be quarantined. On Saturday, they were cleared to come back to work.

“It is especially critical that we do what we can to keep our first responders as healthy as possible as they have regular contact with the most vulnerable in our community,” Soden said.

State officials announced the first positive case of the novel coronavirus in Alaska on Thursday evening. The case involved a man who arrived in Anchorage on a cargo flight.

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Matt Tunseth

Matt Tunseth is a former reporter for the Anchorage Daily News and former editor of the Alaska Star.