An Independence firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19, the city confirmed Friday morning, and is in home isolation.


This marks the first city employee – first responder or otherwise – who has tested positive.


The city said in a release Friday all possibly affected employees in the fire department have been notified and additional sanitization has taken place in shared spaces at the infected firefighter’s station. All city employees who may have come into contact with the firefighter will now be in quarantine as a precaution.


"We ask all of our citizens to wear a cloth face covering when in groups, regularly wash your hands, practice social distancing and stay home if you are ill to protect yourself and your family as we work to slow the spread of this disease," City Manager Zach Walker said in a release.


As of Thursday there have been 1,100 positive COVID-19 cases in eastern Jackson County, which includes Independence, according to the Jackson County Health Department. That total includes 36 deaths, 120 hospitalizations (55 requiring intensive care) and 433 presumed recoveries. More than 21,700 people have been tested, with a positive test rate just greater than 5 percent. Over the past 14 days that positive rate is 5.82 percent.