Wasatch County EMS Crews Taking Extra Precautions During COVID-19

Last week Wasatch County Emergency Medical Services responded to a home where COVID-19 was present. The crew has been in self-isolation since, with no symptoms thus far. EMS crews in the county are continuing to take extra precautions.

Last Friday Wasatch County EMS personnel responded to a call to assist a patient who was later confirmed to have COVID-19. As a result, the ambulance was decontaminated and the EMS responders who transported the patient have been placed in self-isolation for a few days while their symptoms are monitored. Public Information Officer Janet Carson reports the isolated crew is in good spirits.

“The crew is doing great, they did go home to quarantine,” Carson continued. “We’ve got all their shifts filled and they are having no symptoms. They did have on full PPE, but just as a precaution, we asked them to quarantine during this shift. They have been tested and we don’t have the result back yet, but the doctor said everything looked like they’re going to be good to come back to work.”

The EMS crew did have on full personal protective equipment, or PPE, but have been placed in isolation as a precaution. Carson says crews are wearing PPE on every call and decontaminate at the end of shifts.

“That includes a gown, booties, extra-long gloves, goggles, a mask,” Carson said. “Then after it’s quite a process to clean up the ambulance. You know after we transported somebody, we have to decon(taminate) and then we have to decon(taminate) the whole ambulance and everything that’s in it. So, it kind of a process just transporting somebody like that to make it safe for the next patient.”

Because of that EMS is asking those with COVID-19 symptoms to drive themselves to the hospital if at all possible.

“It’s important that we stay healthy so that we can take care of everyone, not just people with COVID-19. The ones that are in the car accident. So as little as contact with possible is a good thing,” Carson explained. “So whenever possible drive themselves to the hospital, but there is a number we can give them to call the hospital to let them know they’re coming. Yesterday we responded to someone who had some of the symptoms and we went to the house, talked to them on the phone. The wife put the husband in the car and we followed them to the hospital in case there was a problem. That seems to be the best way to do things, if at all possible, right now.”

Carson advises that residents continue to listen to health officials. The isolated crews are scheduled to take two tests, if their results come back negative, they will be cleared to work again.

Read the original story at KPCW.org

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