UPDATE October 28, 2020
Self-isolating paramedics test negative, returning to work
Eight members of the Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service who self-isolated after a co-worker tested positive for COVID-19 are preparing to return to work. All eight paramedics have received negative test results, are experiencing no symptoms and are scheduled to get back to work over the next several days.
The paramedic who tested positive is recovering well. They are following instructions from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health before returning to work.
“I am relieved, reassured and confident our emergency response plan will help us contain any future cases, prevent them from spreading on our team, and in our community. Keeping our paramedics healthy and safe is a critical part of managing COVID-19 cases here in Guelph-Wellington,” says Stephen Dewar, Chief of the Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service.
Guelph, Ont., October 21, 2020 – A member of the Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service has tested positive for COVID-19. Eight of their coworkers are self-isolating and waiting on test results.
“A positive case amongst our paramedics underscores the reality that COVID-19 is still a circulating threat in our community. Our local paramedics use personal protective equipment to protect themselves and residents from virus transmission. As a result, risk of exposure to residents in the community is considered low,” says Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “I want to thank our paramedics for their dedicated service to our community – especially during this unprecedented global pandemic. Their delivery of timely and vital healthcare is an important part of our local healthcare partnership.”
“Guelph-Wellington paramedics are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19, and we’ve been preparing to respond to our first positive case. I want to thank everyone on our team for their hard work, long hours and diligent use of personal protective equipment to protect patients and themselves while providing care in our community,” says Stephen Dewar, Chief of Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service. “I also want to thank everyone in our community for doing what they can to slow the spread of this virus. We need everyone doing their part so our health care systems can continue providing excellent care for the people and families affected by COVID-19.”
The paramedic service is implementing its COVID-19 response plan to prevent the virus from spreading within the organization and the community. In the 48 hours before the paramedic tested positive, they were not involved in high-risk calls, and anyone they worked with is now isolating and waiting for test results.
There is no expected impact on response times or emergency services. Replacement paramedics are filling scheduled shifts, all ambulances are staffed and continue responding to emergency calls.
The Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and the City of Guelph continue encouraging employees, residents and businesses to take precautions to prevent the spread; wash your hands, stay two metres away from people you don’t live with and wear a mask where required.
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For reliable, accurate information about COVID-19 visit wdgpublichealth.ca.
Corporate Communications and Customer Service
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2611