PETALUMA (CBS SF) — A Petaluma firefighter who tested positive last week for the COVID-19 coronavirus plans to rejoin the Petaluma Fire Department next week, fire officials said Thursday.

The firefighter, who the department did not identify, tested positive for the coronavirus July 23 after developing mild symptoms on July 19 during a 48-hour shift. He immediately quarantined himself, according to the fire department.

In addition, 14 crew members were quarantined after having immediate, prolonged contact with the affected firefighter before he tested positive. The crew members received COVID-19 tests Tuesday and all 14 tested negative.

The 14 quarantined crew members are expected to return to their normal shifts Friday. The firefighter who tested positive for the virus is recovering and expects to return to work Tuesday. 

A professional cleaning company cleaned and disinfected Fire Station 3, where the 15 crew members were stationed, including its fire apparatus following the positive tests.

Fire officials remained unsure Thursday of where or when the firefighter contracted COVID-19. The department has implemented additional health and safety guidelines due to the pandemic, like wearing N95 and surgical masks while outside the station.

The quarantined firefighters stayed at a local hotel along with a reserve fire engine and ambulance assigned to Fire Station 3, which were stationed at the hotel while the station was sanitized. The fire engine and ambulance returned to the facility Monday.

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