Party at NJ firehouse leads to closure, quarantined firefighters
A Verona fire station was closed after several firefighters were exposed to coronavirus during an unauthorized holiday party at the firehouse.
Township Manager Matthew Cavallo said that several members of the Verona Fire Department who attended the party at Fire Station 2 on Bloomfield Avenue are required to quarantine per CDC and state health guidelines.
Cavallo did not say whether any members or their guests at the party tested positive for coronavirus. He did not immediately respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information on Tuesday morning.
According to the state data, Essex County recorded 380 additional positive cases as of Dec. 14, the fourth highest county in the state behind Middlesex, Monmouth and Bergen counties. The Essex County Department of Health reported 11 new cases in Verona on Dec. 14.
The township's other volunteer fire company will cover the entire municipality during the quarantine period, according to Cavallo.
Cavallo said steps have been taken to ensure similar incidents do not happen in the future and to "avoid future exposure incidents."
Ed Donnelly, president of the N.J. Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, said that hundreds of firefighters around the state have been in quarantine because of exposure while on the job.
"It's more than just putting out fires," Donnelly said, adding that firefighters perform a number of tasks while on a call.
Firefighters have been affected by the calls to keep gatherings small, according to Donnelly, and many canceled their traditional Thanksgiving dinners.