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North County Firefighters To Suspend Most Public Interactions

A Cal Fire truck at the Vista Fire on July 17, 2019.

Credit: Cal Fire San Diego

Above: A Cal Fire truck at the Vista Fire on July 17, 2019.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, fire officials in North County Sunday suspended most firefighter and paramedic interactions with the public except to answer 911 emergency fire and medical aid calls, authorities said.

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In a Twitter statement at about 2:30 p.m., the North County Fire Protection District said it has suspended all non-essential interactions with the public.

"We deeply care for the safety of our community members and will still be responding to your 911 calls with the use of every precaution possible," the statement said.

District officials have decided to close all fire station tours, suspend the youth Explorer program, stop all ride-alongs and conduct a lot fewer building inspections, according to Capt. John Choi of the NCFPD.

Firefighters will no longer go to supermarkets to shop for dinner, Choi said. Instead, meals will be delivered. The district's management team, along with a medical safety officer, met to decide on the new rules, he said.

A North County firefighter tested positive for the coronavirus disease on Saturday and is currently under quarantine at home, Choi said.

Orange County's fire department took similar steps and closed all its fire stations to all visitors, he said.

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