When personnel arrive to their duty stations, it is recommended that management provide separate spaces for the personnel to socially distance themselves from others on their crew for 14 days, if possible. During this period, personnel should take special precautions to limit any close interactions with other people (maintaining at least 6-feet distance) and avoid sharing kitchens, living spaces (bedrooms), bathrooms, or household items.
If shared living spaces and common areas must be utilized during the initial 14 day period after reporting, all personnel should still practice social distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet distance from one another), wear cloth masks, and frequently clean and disinfect shared and high touch surfaces. Personnel should also consider sleeping in opposite directions (head to toe) and avoid using bunk beds in shared sleeping quarters. Management should also consider increasing ventilation rates and/or the percentage of outdoor air that circulates within the shared living and working areas.
When feasible, management should employ mechanisms to support their employees and limit employees’ interactions with others during this period. This may include online ordered and delivered groceries, delivered meals, and virtual and online training tasks.
After the initial 14-day period is over, fire crews and modules who work together and do not have regular interactions with other people can isolate as a unit. During this time, personnel should continue to cover their mouth and nose with tissue or elbow when they cough or sneeze, perform proper hand hygiene and frequently clean and disinfect shared spaces, vehicles, and equipment with EPA-registered disinfectantsexternal icon that are appropriate for the surface and effective against SARS-CoV-2, following label instructions. If a crew operates as a unit, it is not necessary for crew members to wear cloth masks unless they are not feeling well or interacting with the public (consistent with CDC guidelines for households living in close quarters). If interactions with the general public must occur, all personnel should practice social distancing, wear cloth masks, perform hand hygiene, and disinfect surfaces, objects, or items that are shared with the general public.
For more information, see CDC’s COVID-19 Guidance for Shared or Congregate Housing.