(Chico ER) Chico Fire Chief Steve Standridge has tested positive for COVID-19, Standridge said he is the only new positive case within the Chico Fire Department and his contraction of the virus was not “work related.” Back in November, a cluster of cases occurred in the department and further exacerbated what was already a staffing shortage. More than 20 close contacts were also identified in the spread of the virus. The outbreak was believed to have started when a firefighter who unknowingly contracted the virus and was asymptomatic returned to work his normal in addition to a few overtime shifts. The firefighter was part of a crew that had recently moved with an engine from Fire Station 3 located at the Chico Municipal Airport, back to Fire Station 2 at 182 East Fifth Ave. near The Esplanade. Fire Station 2 was “hit very hard” by the virus, Standridge said.