Two Pike Township EMS personnel test positive for COVID-19

Posted at 5:07 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 17:07:19-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Two EMS personnel with the Pike Township Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, the fire department announced on Friday.

In a news release, Fire Chief Chris Tragesser said the affected personnel and their families are in self quarantine at home and have not required hospitalization

Tragesser said on March 17 one Pike EMT told the fire department's designated infection control officer that she had developed symptoms consistent with the novel coronavirus. That EMT, along with five other EMS personnel from Pike, had been in a three-day course from March 13 through March 15. On March 23, students were notified that one participant in the class had tested positive for COVID-19. Also on that date, another Pike EMS paramedic reported symptoms consistent with the virus.

Tragesser said the individuals were immediately isolated and tested through Eli Lilly and received confirmation of positive coronavirus on Friday. Three additional firefighters and EMS personnel have been exposed to COVID-19 when a patient, who later tested positive, was transported by Pike EMS to a local hospital. Those personnel are currently in isolation, awaiting testing through Eli Lilly today.

The fire department said one additional firefighter reported symptoms consistent with the virus and has been placed in isolation and is awaiting an appointment for testing at Eli Lilly on Saturday.

"Department priorities include the safety of Pike Township residents and our firefighters and EMS personnel who serve them," Tragesser said. "Pike Fire implemented broad, aggressive precautions and issued high level personal protective equipment very early in response to this virus. Our personnel are equipped to safely and effectively transport patients showing signs of coronavirus."

Tragesser said the fire department is working with the Marion County Emergency Operations Center to identify a limited number of individuals who may have come into contact with infected fire department personnel and will contacxt those individuals directly.

The fire department has a nurse case manager who is tracking each individual in quarantine and charting temperature, testing results and other signs and symptoms multiple times daily.