CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg EMS says it is actively quarantining 19 paramedics because of exposure to coronavirus.
As many as 25 have been under quarantine at one time, and that number is fluctuating daily as paramedics go in and out of isolation.
One paramedic remains positive for COVID-19, while 12 others have been tested and came back negative.
“Our job right now is to protect them to the best of our ability,” Mecklenburg EMS Agency (Medic) Deputy Director Jon Studnek said.
Studnek says they’re responding to 40 calls a day from patients showing symptoms of COVID-19.
“Anywhere between five and seven patients a day come back to us with a positive COVID test result,” Studnek said.
Every time they respond to a potential coronavirus case, paramedics have to suit up in personal protective equipment. Right now, Medic says their N95 masks and surgical masks are in good supply, but they are short on gowns.
If Mecklenburg County COVID cases were to spike like in New York City and paramedics themselves were hit hard, Medic says there’s a plan in place to cover up to a 40% reduction in staff.
Medic also says the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 is doing well, and currently resting at home.