South African firefighters who tested positive for COVID-19 cleared for active duty

A pair of South African firefighters who tested positive for COVID-19 are clear to return to work, a provincial government spokesperson told Global News Sunday.

Two firefighters among the around 100-person South African deployment, along with 12 close contacts had to self-isolate, but they can now “safely return to active duty.”

The spokesperson said the Manitoba Wildfire Service will continue its regular rapid testing of crew members, including those from South Africa, for the remainder of the wildfire season. Crew members have been undergoing COVID-19 testing since the spring, following the advice of public health officials.

More than 100 firefighters from South Africa arrived in Manitoba on Wednesday to help the province battle wildfires.

As of Friday, 129 wildfires were burning across Manitoba, 12 of which were listed as out of control in the province’s fire situation report.

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