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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