Brothers and Sisters,
Below, please find the updated CFD Covid numbers for this week. Note that the EMS Division has identified shared meals as the likely infection vector for multiple outbreaks within the Department. This is thought to be because: 1. the CDC and other agencies have determined that Covid can be spread by small airborne droplets which remain suspended in the air even after the infectious person has left the room. 2. Mask wearing is either impossible or substantially less effective while eating meals. 3. Shared mealtimes are likely to involve conversation, and numerous studies have demonstrated that loud talking can spread aerosol droplets much farther than six feet, especially in an enclosed interior space with poor ventilation.
Members are reminded that there are steps they can take to significantly reduce the likelihood of infection. Please wear surgical masks at all times in the presence of other individuals, and encourage others to wear their surgical masks as well. Open windows and doors to allow for increased airflow and ventilation. The City and Administration understand that this will cause increased heating bills. Do not eat meals together. Members are encouraged to quickly eat their meals separately, without talking. Once everyone is finished eating and properly masked, Members can converse as they normally would.
We understand that these measures are burdensome and can seem arbitrary. We also understand that it seems like recommendations change from week to week. We share your frustrations, but as we are charged with advocating for the health and safety of our Membership, we ask you to follow Departmental guidance to the best of your ability, and to understand that many of these changes have occurred because of a new understanding of the virus, or because of changing case numbers. We were able to get away with being a little more lax over the summer because case numbers in the state were much lower. As they have increased, we are increasingly getting caught.
We currently have 7 CFD Members positive for Covid. The EMS Division has done contact tracing, and quarantined all Members who met the definition of a close contact. Jim Gomes, Eric Moore, Brian Casey, Peter Melo, Rob Martinello, and Rick Feliciano have given us their permission to share that they are currently Covid-positive. We encourage you to contact the EMS Division if you feel that you meet the CDC definition of a close contact, but have not been quarantined.
Finally, we would like to stress that although most of the cases at CFD have been mild or asymptomatic, we have had Members with more serious symptoms, including a Member with Covid pneumonia who was hospitalized for several days. This Member is physically fit and reasonably young, with no obvious preexisting conditions. Although that Member is currently discharged from the hospital and feeling better, they are still out of work and remain ill. Please understand that, although each individual's risk of getting severe disease is low, the risk of someone getting severely ill is high if we ignore public health guidance. With the promise of vaccination in just a short time, and the beginning of a return to normal shortly thereafter, please don't be "that guy."
Cumulative Total Number of Covid-Positive Members-25
Current Number of Covid-Positive Members- 7
Current Number of Covid-Positive CFD Immediate Family Members known to the EMS Division- 5
Current Number of Quarantined Members- 27
Current Number of Members in City Hotel Housing- 5
Current Number of Covid-Positive Cambridge Residents- 757
Please take care of yourselves and each other, and allow us to wish you a Happy New Year and a much-improved 2021. As always, contact any member of the Executive Board with any questions or concerns.
Local 30's Executive Board
Links and Information:
Current CFD Quarantine Policy
Current CFD Covid-19 Exposure Policy
SOG 39- (Non-Covid) Unprotected Exposure ProcedureCurrent CFD Basic PPE and Advanced PPE for EMS calls
Current CFD Station/Mask guidelines- please also see General Order 40, Series of 2020- Temporary Restrictions
Current City Policy on Covid-19-related absences (Families First Coronavirus Response Act)
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Information
City of Cambridge Covid-19 site
McLean Hospital Leader Program
IAFF Center of Excellence recovery center
Boston Red Sox Home Base Program
National Suicide Hotline 800-273-8255