Dallas EMS crew sent home for not wearing masks while treating COVID-19 patient

Officials said the incident is under investigation to determine appropriate disciplinary actions


Jesus Jimenez
The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — Members of a Dallas Fire-Rescue crew were sent home this week after they did not wear masks while treating a patient who has COVID-19, a spokesman for the department said Friday.

The incident, which was first reported by KDFW-TV (Channel 4), occurred Sunday at Dallas Regional Medical Center in Mesquite.

Members of a Dallas EMS crew were sent home this week after treating a COVID-19 positive patient while not wearing masks. (Photo/Irwin Thompson, The Dallas Morning News)
Members of a Dallas EMS crew were sent home this week after treating a COVID-19 positive patient while not wearing masks. (Photo/Irwin Thompson, The Dallas Morning News)

The department did not say whether anyone sent home had since tested positive for the virus.

It is unclear how many members of the crew were sent home, whether they are quarantined or if they have worked since Sunday. Spokesman Jason Evans said the matter is under investigation, and that appropriate disciplinary actions would be determined.

“Due to HIPAA restrictions, we are unable to confirm or discuss specifics when it comes to the medical information of, and treatment provided to, our members or citizens we provide treatment to,” Evans said. “These matters are treated on a case-by-case basis, and in the event that someone has a confirmed exposure, they are placed under mandatory quarantine.”

Anyone who is exposed to someone with the virus is recommended to stay home until 14 days have passed since that exposure, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A directive issued by Dallas Fire-Rescue in April requires that all on-duty members wear a department-issued face mask while working and that they are required on emergency runs.

Through Sept. 18, a total of 135 Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighters and employees had tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 124 had fully recovered and returned to work, according to the department.

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©2020 The Dallas Morning News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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