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Community responds to Barbour County Emergency Squad worker who tested positive COVID-19

Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 12:43 AM EDT
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BARBOUR COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - As COVID-19 continues to spread and people need to continue to work, a thin line is drawn when the safety of those at any given workplaces may be put in jeopardy. A Barbour County Emergency Squad paramedic is now in the talks of crossing that line.

A Barbour County local, who has asked to remain anonymous, shared his concern about his wife’s coworker.

"He was allowed and permitted to work clear up until he was notified that he had just tested positive for COVID-19," he said. "Fire, EMS, police and everybody else are held to higher standards. When you're risking everybody else's lives, that's not cool."

The local said based off of photos he was shown and information he was hearing from others who know the individual, he had been working for over a week without taking precaution.

5 News reached out to the Barbour County Emergency Squad for a comment on Wednesday, but have yet to hear back from anyone.

"Where's the director at? Who's going to hold him accountable? Who's going to hold their safety guy accountable?," the local said.

A part from the Barbour County Emergency Squad, the paramedic also works in Monongalia County, according to someone who has worked with the paramedic and has also asked to remain anonymous.

""He did in fact take a patient to Ruby and I know he was at Mon General," they said.

"I know that later on during the week he also had another patient at Ruby. I can't tell you exactly how many because I'm not sure but I know at least he went on 3 trips total to Morgantown. Two of them which were to Ruby and one to Mon."

We reached out to Ruby Memorial Hospital for a comment and a WVU Medicine spokesperson stated they cannot comment directly on human resources issues.

However, the source that has worked with the paramedic did share a screenshot from the Office of Emergency Medical Services that shows the paramedic's current jobs, and both Barbour and Monongalia county are listed.

"If we're all sick and testing positive, there's a possibility that the whole entire agency could have tested positive," they said. "That means the whole entire agency could have been out of work so who would have been there for the community?"

That question and many more are arising from those in the area.

The Barbour County Health Department did release a statement in regard to the incident and say they have notified those that were in contact with him and will continue to follow the case, but many are concerned about the effects one person may have on those in the community.

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