AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) medic has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to officials.
At a press conference on Wednesday, ATCEMS Chief Ernesto Rodriguez said that they have been expecting some EMS medics to get the virus due to the increased amount of contact they are in with individuals who have the virus.
Rodriguez said that EMS clinicians are prepared every day to come into contact with infectious disease and there are measures in place to keep them safe and healthy, such as protective gear and training.
According to the Austin-Travis County alternate health authority, Dr. Jason Pickett, if it is determined that other medics were in contact with the person who tested positive for an extended period of time, they would be isolated.
"The health and safety of our first responders is our highest priority," said Dr. Jason Pickett, Austin Alternate Health Authority. "The exposure of the ATCEMS medic was not the result of a breach of protocol. We have measures in place to ensure they are properly protected and equipped when they respond to calls of flu-like symptoms. We will continue to reassess first responder protocols as needed during the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation."
KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski confirmed that the medic is under quarantine and it is not yet known whether they got the virus from a patient or from a different source.
Rodriguez said the best way the public can help EMS and medical workers out is by following the guidelines set forth, such as social distancing and practicing good hygiene.
According to Rodriguez, ATCEMS has enough medical supplies, like masks and gowns to properly provide care at the current rate of disease. Rodriguez also said a local company is producing gowns for ATCEMS that are passing the tests required for use.
As of March 23, Travis County was reporting more than 95 cases of coronavirus.
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