At least 6 firefighters at the collapsed Florida condo tested positive for COVID-19
Six firefighters tested positive for COVID-19 at the collapsed Florida condominium.
The setback is one of several issues that first responders have faced in recent days.
Search and rescue operations were halted for 15 hours on Thursday due to structural concerns.
Six firefighters at the collapsed Champlain Towers South condominium tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, according to Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky.
"We do have our medical procedures in place," Cominsky told the Miami Herald. "Unfortunately, this is another challenge but something we've been dealing with for over the past year."
The small COVID-19 outbreak at the wreckage site is just one more problem that search and rescue teams have dealt with in recent days.
Nearly an entire day of searching was called off on Thursday after the destroyed site shifted six to 12 inches, Cominsky told the Herald, but work resumed after a 15-hour wait.
There have been 22 confirmed deaths from the collapse and 126 missing people. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said on Friday that 19 names were removed from the missing persons list after some residents reported safe and several duplicate names were found.
Cava also signed an emergency order to demolish the standing portion of Champlain Towers South, but she stressed that it will probably be several weeks before it's ever scheduled.
"Our top priority is search and rescue. We will take no action that will jeopardize our search-and-rescue efforts," Levine Cava said, according to the Associated Press. "The building poses a threat to public health and safety."
Authorities are concerned that the remaining section of the condominium could collapse at any time and said that daily rain showers add more weight to the structure, making it even more unstable.
As Hurricane Elsa approaches southern Florida, rescue workers sleeping in tents have been moved to stay on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas cruise ship. About 600 first responders in total will stay on the ship, according to the AP.
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