Two members of the Redlands Fire Department could have been exposed to the coronavirus after responding to a residence of a man being tested for possible contraction of the coronavirus, on Monday, March 9, the Redlands Police Department announced on Tuesday, March, 10.

While this is not a confirmed case of coronavirus, as a precaution the two paramedics, whose identities were not released and who had contact with the patient, have been placed in voluntary self-quarantine until test results are available.

“The health and well-being of all Redlands residents, employees and visitors to the city are of paramount importance to us,” said Mayor Paul Foster in a prepared statement.

The undisclosed fire station also underwent disinfection procedures. The unidentified patient had been experiencing breathing difficulties and was transported to a local but unidentified hospital after being treated by the two paramedics.

According to city spokesman Carl Baker local, authorities began preparations over the past few weeks including meeting with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health and initiating conversations with local groups, including those sponsoring large public events or gatherings.

“We will respond as appropriate based on the advice of public health officials and medical professionals,” said Baker.

Foster said that in addition the city has initiated conversations with representatives of the Redlands Unified School District, Redlands Community Hospital, the University of Redlands, Esri and skilled nursing facilities to share information of the coronavirus and coordinate the response.

“All available city employees will be deployed to ensure that core city functions, including essential public health and safety, are maintained. The most effective protection against the virus remains education and good health hygiene habits,” said Foster

Those recommendations include avoiding close contact with people who are sick, washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, specially after going to the bathroom; avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If someone does become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever or cough, they should stay away from work, school or other people to avoid spreading the illness, recommend medical authorities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

N95 masks are not recommended outside a health care setting, said CDC.  For more information, visit the Department of Public Health at wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus/ or the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV.