RC EMS Officials Provide Update On COVID-19 Status
ROBERTSON COUNTY TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – Social media is a powerful tool that is great for getting out information quickly but sometimes it can be a conduit of misinformation. Case and point, there is information circulating that Robertson County has numerous confirmed cases of COVID-19. Not true, officials say.
Smokey Barn News is working with agencies all across the county, including Robertson County EMS, and, at the moment, we have no reported or confirmed cases of Coronavirus inside the county. Testing for some individuals is likely as it is across the country.
Some misunderstandings could be originating from the way potential COVID-19 patients are being handled, so Smokey Barn News reached out to Robertson County EMS for clarification.
PROCEDURE: The first assessment of a patient starts with the 911 dispatch operator who will compare patient symptoms to the COVID-19 checklist. Does the patient have a fever, cough, chest congestion, runny nose, sore throat, etc.
According to Robertson County EMS, when emergency medical personal reach the patient they will first analyze the patient from a safe distance, about six feet, according to CDC guidelines. If it is determined that the patient has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, medics will step back and put on full protective PPE “Personal Protective Equipment” suits and the patient will be masked.
According to Captian Josh Rice with Robertson County EMS, disposable protective suits are on order but at the moment they are using big Tyvek suits which, according to Rice, are overkill and might look a little like a spacesuit and could cause panic.
Seeing personnel in big Tyvek suits going in and out of a home might lead someone to believe that there is a confirmed case of Coronavirus but it’s largely a precaution, Rice said. Once the disposable PPE suits arrive, medics will have less of that outer space look.
Any time emergency medical personnel transport anyone with any type of respiratory illness, the ambulance is sanitized thoroughly from top to bottom.
What’s being done to protect firefighters?
Firefighters respond to medical calls with Robertson County EMS and are therefore at risk for exposure too. To protect firefighters they are asked to hold outside until the patient is assessed and the scene is declared safe. If it is determined that a patient has respiratory symptoms, and firefighters are needed to assist, they will be provided with PPE suits.
Rice added that if there’s is a life-threatening situation then medical personal and firefighters are going to do what they need to for the patient and self-quarantine later.
Everything our first responders are doing is to stop or limit the spread of the virus, there is no need for the public to panic, Rice said.
It’s important to remember that some of the things that make this virus so dangerous are that it jumps from person to person easily and most people will have no symptoms at all.
The goal is to flatten the curve, to try and stop large spikes of patients from overwhelming our hospital’s all at once. We also want to protect our older residents that seem to be the most vulnerable to this virus. Take a look at the chart below provided by the Chinese CDC statistical data published by the BBC.
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