Six workers test positive for COVID at Florida condo collapse

Add COVID-19 to the list of challenges facing the search and rescue crews at the Surfside, Florida, condo collapse.

Six firefighters who were working on the pile have tested positive for the disease.

Miami Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said Friday that the outbreak was among one of the teams from Florida, CBS-4 Miami reported.

The task force that contained the positive COVID-19 has been “demobilized,” according to the chief, and the firefighters were isolated, according to the Miami Herald.

“We do have our medical procedures in place,” Cominsky said. “Unfortunately, this is another challenge but something we’ve been dealing with for over the past year.”

More than 350 rescue workers have combed through the shifting rubble of Champlain Towers South for the past week. The death toll has reached 22, with 126 missing. No one has been found alive since just hours after the June 24 collapse.

The crews have faced physical danger from fires, the instability of the pile and fears about the remaining portion of the building falling, which led to a shutdown of the site for 15 hours on Thursday. Officials are also worried about the toll the long, slow effort is taking on the mental health of rescue workers.

TOPSHOT - Search and rescue teams search the rubble of the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers
The task force that contained the positive COVID-19 has been “demobilized.”
AFP via Getty Images

Adding to the concerns Saturday was the approach of Hurricane Elsa, a Category 1 storm that is expected to hit Florida on Tuesday.

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