911 dispatchers in Houston stop asking callers about coronavirus symptoms


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Dispatchers in Houston, Texas, have stopped asking 911 callers if they've coronavirus symptoms — a move that has local firefighters involved.

According to multiple reports, 911 callers will not be asked in the event that they or members of their household are displaying indicators of COVID-19, which had been an ongoing procedure because the novel coronavirus pandemic started. The dispatchers would then inform firefighters, in accordance with the reviews.

“Having much less details about COVID-19 infections is dangerous for firefighters, paramedics and the general public. Why the town is refusing to track the knowledge is a mystery to us,” Patrick “Marty” Lancton, president of the Houston Skilled Hearth Fighters Affiliation, informed Fox Information in an e mail.

The town introduced the brand new coverage Tuesday when members of the Houston Hearth Division have been attending funeral providers for Houston’s first firefighter to die of the coronavirus.

“We are also troubled that the town launched this info in the course of the memorial service for Captain Leroy Lucio who died from problems of COVID-19,” Lancton added.

Houston Hearth Chief Sam Pena told local media outlet ABC-13 that this new coverage comes out of concern that callers will not be being trustworthy about their symptoms and that the policy is also an acknowledgment of how rampant COVID-19 has grow to be in Houston.

Pena had publicly pleaded to Houston residents to answer dispatchers truthfully in an effort to guard firefighters, in response to the native outlet. His hearth division has sustained giant numbers of COVID-forced quarantines, Pena stated.

Pena explained the change to members of the Houston Hearth Department in a memo obtained by native ABC 13- TV.

“The prevalence of COVID-19 is excessive within the Houston space and COVID-19 can't be ‘ruled out’ within the area nor appropriately screened by way of OEC. In the most effective interest of HFD members’ health and well-being, all addresses and patients must be thought-about as potential COVID-19 constructive places and patients. No makes an attempt ought to be made or opinions shaped to think about and treat any patient as ‘non-COVID,'” the memo reads, per the outlet.

“Aim is to attenuate spread of infectious disease. In EMS & all healthcare, we apply common precautions. Publicity is a danger in our workplace on all calls. Right PPE is required on every call. Houston’s paramedics advised to imagine everybody has COVID-19,” Pena added on Twitter.