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Decontamination site set up in San Jose for first responders to help stop spread of virus

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Like the rest of the US, law enforcement and first responders are not immune to COVID-19.

Santa Clara County is working to minimize the risk to public safety in spreading the virus.​

Deputies, police officers, and medical first responders in Santa Clara County have a place to decontaminate themselves if they believe they’ve been exposed to novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.​

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office says 12 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, three of them deputies.​

Of the twelve, two people have recovered and returned to work.​

At a news conference in the South Bay Tuesday, Sheriff Laurie Smith says that’s all the more reason the department has created a decontamination site.​

“This decontamination site is open to all law enforcement, all first responders and essential medical personnel, within the county of Santa Clara,” Smith said.​

The site is set-up in a tent at the Sheriff’s Office Training Center on West Hedding Street in San Jose.​

A virus response team made up of trained sergeants and deputies are standing by around the clock.​

They instruct people to sterilize their boots by first stepping in a bleach solution, then water and once they remove their gear and uniforms, chemicals are available to disinfect their stuff.​

The boots and clothes are bagged up to either be washed on-site or at home.​

The first responders can then take a shower and dress up in clean clothes.​

“It really helps us in really flattening this curve, and everybody’s doing their part,” Fire Chief Tony Bowden said. ​

And Sheriff Smith says more decontamination equipment is on the way.​

“It’s a room sterilizer type thing that will kill pathogens in small to medium rooms, like jail cells, and another system that will be used for vehicles,” Smith said. ​

The site will remain open indefinitely.​

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