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COVID-19 taking its toll on Marion County's first responders

48 police, firefighters and medics test positive
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Posted at 4:48 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 16:57:19-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- COVID-19 is taking its toll on police officers, firefighters and EMS providers in Marion County.

New figures were released Tuesday by the Marion County Emergency Operations Center. Here is the breakdown:

  • Police officers: 20 officers have tested positive for the virus. One has recovered and been cleared to return to work.
  • Firefighters: 21 have tested positive for COVID-19. Five are back at work.
  • IEMS (Emergency medical) Seven have tested positive. Two have been cleared to return to work.

According to the operations center, all first responders have been instructed on proper social distancing, handwashing and the use of Personal Protective Equipment.

Agency leaders are monitoring the health of first responders and sending them for free COVID-19 testing offered by Eli Lilly & Co. following an exposure protocol. Those who test positive are self-quarantined at home and monitored for any progression of symptoms. They will return to work only after a doctor's OK.

IMPD has more than 1,600 police officers, IFD is made up of more than 1,200 firefighters, and the IEMS’ workforce has more than 350 EMTs and paramedics.

Anyone in the community calling 9-1-1 is asked to be truthful with the dispatcher about any flu-like issues they, or any member of their family, may be experiencing – even if the dispatcher does not ask specifically. Residents should meet responders at the door or on the front porch, if they are able. This allows for a quick assessment in an open area and helps reduce risk of unnecessary exposure.