Taunton officials on Thursday reported that four public safety workers in their city have tested positive for coronavirus.
In a joint statement, Police Chief Edward Walsh and Fire Chief Timothy Bradshaw said there are “three confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Taunton Police Department and one positive case within the Taunton Fire Department.”
Officials said the four patients have been isolated and no further information is available about them, pursuant to privacy laws.
The statement said the patients’ close contacts are also being quarantined and monitored. As a precautionary measure, authorities said, all members of both departments that had come into close contact with the four infected employees began to self-quarantine prior to notification of the positive tests.
City officials stressed that police officers and firefighters will continue to respond to all emergencies and take precautions when interacting with the public.
“Our number one priority during this time is serving the people of our community while staying safe and remaining healthy,” Walsh said in the statement. “At this time, we have three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our ranks. All other members of the department who have been deemed a close contact have been contacted by the DPH and are following the proper guidelines. We would like to remind the community that the department remains fully operational during this time and that it is safe to call us if you are in need of assistance.”
Walsh’s words were echoed by Bradshaw.
“We are taking all of the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and will continue to closely monitor the situation as it continues to unfold,” Bradshaw said in the release. “We wish everyone a quick recovery and hope that they’re all back to full health soon.”
The news comes two days after the Boston Fire Department reported that two of its firefighters tested positive for coronavirus, and that 17 members of the department were in self-isolation.
Elsewhere, Rich MacKinnon Jr., president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, a statewide group that represents more than 12,000 firefighters, said by phone Tuesday that five other firefighters in the Commonwealth have tested positive for the virus. Of the five, two are from Worcester, two are from Billerica, and one is from Brookline, he said.
Danny McDonald of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.