On October 1st two members of Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services (CCEMS) tested positive for COVID-19.
Both providers had extremely minor symptoms, bordering on being asymptomatic prior to testing. Out of an abundance of caution and a strong desire to prevent the spread of this disease in the community, they were tested for COVID-19.
The source of the infection remains unconfirmed at this time, although one of the providers that tested positive transported a patient with COVID-19, on September 25th. During that transport, all necessary personal protective equipment was worn, and all donning and doffing procedures were
correctly followed. It is unknown if the infections stem from this transport or from community spreading. Both employees that tested positive are isolating at their residences for at least ten days, following the CDC COVID-19 guidelines.
Nine additional members of CCEMS are currently quarantined in their residences. Following the discovery of the two employees with COVID-19, all employees that had contact with the positive employees in the 48-hour period preceding the onset of symptoms were placed in quarantine.
None of the quarantined employees are currently exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
CCEMS employees have been practicing social distancing and have been instructed to wear masks at work when they are within six feet of another coworker since the beginning of this pandemic.
CCEMS reviewed all patient transports that have occurred since September 25th and no patients were exposed to COVID-19 from CCEMS staff. Staff that did not have a documented exposure to the virus will continue to do daily temperature and symptom screenings at the start and end of their shifts. Any employee exhibiting symptoms will be immediately sent home and tested at the appropriate time. Additionally, CCEMS will be testing all quarantined staff before they return to duty.
Chaffee County EMS would like to express our sincere gratitude for the assistance and guidance we’ve received from Chaffee County Public Health, the laboratory staff and Emergency Department staff and physicians at HRRMC, and HRRMC Infection Prevention Manager Tracy McConathy.