Three Monroe County first responders test positive for COVID-19
FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –In a post Tuesday morning on the Monroe County Board of Commissioners Facebook page, three EMS workers contracted COVID-19.
It states Monroe County Emergency Services moved personnel around due to the short-term unavailability of the three who tested positive. The post goes on to say among the departmental changes is the temporary removal of the full-time staffer at Station 3 (Juliette), who will be called upon to assist at other stations. Other part-time employees or staffers housed at outlying stations could also be called upon to take on larger short-term roles.
According to the post, another key change is the county’s 13 fire stations will be closed to the public in order to keep firefighters and citizens safe from COVID-19 spread. They say Monroe County Emergency Services’ high quality and rapid response time will not be affected as a result of the staff shortage. Fire/EMS staffers will continue to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when responding to calls and are continuing to take all measures possible to prevent additional staffers from contracting the virus.
Monroe County Emergency Services’ officials say they discovered the affected staffers may have been exposed to the virus early last week. The three employees were then sent home to self-quarantine even before learning the positive results of their tests later in the week.
Due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) privacy law, Monroe County will not reveal the identity of the employees. The affected staffers are currently going through the contact tracing process to determine any other people who may have been exposed to the virus.
Monroe County Emergency Services Chief Deputy, Jason Lott, urges residents to wear masks and continue to abide by the state’s social distancing guidelines. Lott said, “Please limit your outside exposure and help us be protected by protecting yourself.”
Monroe County Emergency Services has no further information on the matter at this time. MCES says they will continue to notify the public if any additional pertinent COVID-19-related information becomes available.