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6 Rescuers in Condo in Surfside, Florida test positive for virus

Six medical rescue workers helping with rescue efforts at the site of a collapsed condo in Surfside, Florida have tested positive for the coronavirus, Alan R. Cominsky, head of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said at a news conference on Saturday.

The workers, who were all part of the same task force, were no longer on site, Chief Cominsky said, adding that contact tracing had been conducted and 424 members of other task force teams in Florida responding to the site had been tested.

In his comments, boss Cominsky did not go into the conditions of the six workers. It was unclear whether they were vaccinated.

The chief told the Miami Herald on Friday that the six rescue workers were firefighters from Florida but not from Miami-Dade.

“We have our medical procedures in place,” he told the newspaper. “Unfortunately, this is another challenge that we have dealt with over the last year.”

According to a New York Times database, the average daily reports of new cases in Florida have increased 55 percent in the past two weeks. Across the state, 65 percent of residents 18 and over have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and 56 percent are fully vaccinated.

Speaking at the press conference on Saturday, Chief Cominsky said the rescue effort would continue with teams from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and Indiana in addition to those from Florida.

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