8-year-old girl rescued at Reedley Beach tests positive for COVID-19, 4 first responders in quarantine


FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — We are learning more about that little girl rescued at Reedley Beach last week. The Reedley Police Department identified her at Samantha Cruz-Pedro, 8, and say she is currently on life-support at Valley Children’s Hospital. Officials say she also tested positive for COVID-19. 

“We’ve been in contact with the family off and on through the weekend just checking on status and if there’s anything, anything they need help with,” said Marc Ediger, police commander with the Reedley Police Department. 

The hospital says right now it’s standard practice to test all patients upon admission, along with all patients before surgery. 

RELATED: Man dies after trying to save children who were swept down the Kings River from Reedley Beach, police say

Four first-responders who helped treat Cruz-Pedro on the scene, are now in quarantine. 

We’re told they have been tested and are still waiting for the results. The first-responders we spoke with say the virus doesn’t keep them from doing their job. 

Police say last Wednesday, Cruz-Pedro and her family were enjoying the day at Reedley Beach when the water swept her away. 

“There’s a big sandy area and that’s where her and two other children were initially playing and our belief is that they waded out a little too far into the water and it dropped off and the current picks up a little bit as you go out further,” he said. 

Manjit Singh, 29, tried using his turban as a life-line to rescue the little girl. When that didn’t work, he jumped into the water to try and save the girl and two other children, an act of bravery that would cost him his life. 

“Definitely a heroic instinct on Manjit’s part to have that reaction to wanting to try and help save those kids, especially Samantha, knowing he didn’t know how to swim,” Ediger said. 

He says a few days later they learned that Cruz-Pedro rested positive for COVID-19. The officers now at home waiting. 

“Those officers are currently on leave from work and we’re monitoring them and they’re self-quarantining at this point just out of an abundance of precaution but we do not have anyone here at the police department that has tested positive for COVID,” Ediger said. 

But the police officers were not the only ones exposed, so were two Reedley firefighters Fire officials say they too are being monitored. 

“Due to that they are essential workers they are not required to be off of work if we have the ability to we will have them self-quarantine at home for up to 14 days, they are following up with medical doctors and being tested,” said Justin Watson, Battalion Chief with the Reedley Fire Department. 

Police say Cruz-Pedro is visiting the Valley with her parents from Mexico.

They say there are three older siblings that the parents are working on trying to bring them to the Valley to be with the family during this time.  

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