The Atlantic City firefighters union has filed a lawsuit saying the city took an "ineffective approach" to handling the COVID-19 pandemic after 65 firefighters were exposed to the virus.
The city arranged rapid tests for firefighters directly exposed to six others who tested positive, and instructed those who tested negative to return to work, according to the suit filed in Atlantic County Superior Court.
Filed by Local 198, the suit calls the approach to handling the virus "ineffective," and " jeopardized the health and safety of all firefighters, their families, and the general public." Some firefighters who first tested negative are now showing symptoms, according to the initial article, reported by the Press of Atlantic City.
The city's procedures don't agree with the state's health department and CDC, which direct those exposed to an infected person to quarantine for 14-days.
The union is asking a judge to order the city to provide paid leave for the firefighters, who should self-quarantine for 14 days.
The state Department of Community Affairs outlined the procedures for the Press of Atlantic City but did not comment on the litigation.
According to Spokeswoman Lisa Ryan, firefighters exposed to confirmed cases should quarantine until they can be tested, and those who test negative and are asymptomatic are scheduled for work.
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