This story will be continuously updated as new cases are reported.
So far in North Texas, there have been at least 30 positive cases of COVID-19 among area first responders.
More than 6,000 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The first local case was announced on March 9 in Collin County.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Number of cases: 2
Dallas officials announced March 31 that two Dallas Area Rapid Transit employees tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating at home.
One of the employees is a DART police officer and the second is a bus operator.
The bus and police car used by the employees are no longer in service and will remain in quarantine.
Number of cases: 16
- On May 22, Dallas fire officials confirmed that so far, the total remains at 16 firefighters who have tested positive for COVID-19. Twenty-four firefighters are currently in quarantine. The department says 310 members have been cleared from quarantine or isolation.
- On May 15, Dallas fire officials confirmed that so far, 16 firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, and 13 have recovered and returned to work. Twenty-five firefighters are currently quarantined after exposure to the virus both on and off-duty.
- On May 8, Dallas fire officials confirmed that so far, 14 firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, and 12 have recovered. Twelve firefighters remained quarantined at this time, and are showing little to no symptoms.
- On May 1, Dallas officials confirmed an additional case of COVID-19 among firefighters. So far, 13 firefighters have tested positive and 11 those have returned to work. Forty-five firefighters are quarantined as of May 1 due to coronavirus exposure, on and off-duty. Two of those have tested positive; the other 43 are either awaiting test results for the exposure source, waiting for a resolution of symptoms or waiting to fulfill the required quarantine period.
- On April 24: Dallas-Fire Rescue officials confirmed a total of 13 members have tested positive for COVID-19. Seven of those patients have already recovered and returned to work.
- On April 17: Dallas Fire-Rescue is reporting that two more firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total firefighters who have tested positive since the outbreak began to 12. Four firefighters have made full recoveries. Sixty-one Dallas Fire-Rescue members are in quarantine. There have been 168 members who were cleared from quarantine or isolation.“All members are doing well and showing minimal symptoms,” spokesman Jason Evans said.
- On April 4, Dallas Fire-Rescue officials confirmed a total of seven employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Additional details regarding the patients' current health conditions were not released. According to DFR, there are also more than 50 firefighters quarantined.
- On March 22, Dallas Fire-Rescue officials confirmed a firefighter tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first positive for a member of Dallas Fire-rescue, according to a memo from Dallas Fire-Rescue obtained by WFAA.
Dallas Police Department
Number of cases: 13
- On April 22: The Dallas Police Department confirmed its 13th officer tested positive for COVID-19. Two civilians have also contracted the novel coronavirus, bringing the department's total case count to 15.
- On April 21: The Dallas Police Department announced a neighborhood patrol officer working at the South Central Patrol Division tested positive for COVID-19. The officer's last day on the job was April 14. DPD says the officer will be quarantined for 14 days or longer pending future test results. The South Central Patrol Division will also be sprayed and sanitized.
- On April 15: The Dallas Police Department announced two more officers have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 11. The 11th officer to test positive is a background detective whose last day of work was April 11. The officer began experiencing symptoms of coronavirus after going home Saturday and went for testing. The officer learned of those test results on Wednesday.
The officer is under quarantine for two weeks or until cleared by DPD's medical team. The area where the officer worked was sanitized by a professional contractor, the department said.
The department has had 11 cases of COVID-19 in officers and in two civilians at the department who work as a communications dispatcher and a public service officer.
"Please keep the officers and civilian employees in your thoughts and prayers for a full recovery," the department said in a statement Wednesday.
Dallas police officials also confirmed a 10th officer tested positive for COVID-19 on April 15. The officer works at the Southeast patrol and has not been at work since April 2. Dallas police officials say out of an abundance of caution, the officer has been in quarantine since April 2 because the officer’s work partner had previously tested positive. The 10th confirmed officer began to develop coronavirus-related symptoms and was tested on April 9, police officials say.
Dallas police say the officer will continue to stay home for an additional 14 days or more until cleared to return by DPD’s medical team.
- On April 9: The Dallas Police Department reported another officer tested positive for coronavirus. The officer is the eighth confirmed case within DPD and works in the property room at police headquarters. That officer has not been at work since March 24 and received results after being tested on April 4, according to police officials. The officer will remain quarantined at home for 14 days or until cleared to return to duty by DPD’s medical team.
- On April 3, the Dallas Police Department announced a sixth officer tested positive for COVID-19. The officer works in the traffic unit and has not been at work since March 18. He remains quarantined at home and his motorcycle used for work will be sanitized by a professional contractor, according to officials.
- On April 2, officials announced a Dallas police officer who worked at Southeast Patrol on the second watch had tested positive. The officer is the fifth person on the force to test positive since the outbreak began. They were last in the office on Saturday, March 28, according to officials.
- On April 1, officials with Dallas police confirmed a fourth officer had tested positive. Dallas police officials say the officer who tested positive works at the South Central Patrol and has not returned to the office since March 24.
- On March 30, Dallas police confirmed a third officer tested positive for COVID-19. This officer works at the In-Service Academy and has been out of the office since March 18 when they felt sick. The officer is at home and recuperating and no other officer that worked with them has shown signs of the disease, police said.
- On March 20, Dallas police confirmed a second positive case of COVID-19. The officer’s last day on the job was Thursday, March 12 and was isolated and is "doing well." One co-worker is currently quarantined as a precaution.
- On March 19, the Dallas Police Department confirmed one of its officers tested positive for COVID-19. Police officials say the officer is self-isolated and is doing "OK." Three coworkers who were in close contact are quarantined as a precaution.
Fort Worth Police Department
Number of cases: 3
- On March 31, the Fort Worth Police Department confirmed a third officer tested positive for COVID-19. This officer worked in the same unit as the other two confirmed cases, according to a news release from the department. All three officers are self-isolated at home and "in good spirits," according to the release, Department officials said they have created a team to trace the movements and interactions of these officers, and notifying anyone who may be at risk of exposure. The department is also disinfecting the officers' vehicles and offices.
- On March 29, Fort Worth police reported two officers tested positive for COVID-19 on March 28.
Number of cases: 1
On March 31, the City of Plano confirmed one employee with Plano Fire-Rescue has tested positive for CVID-19 and several other employees are quarantined as a precaution.
Plano Police Department
Number of cases: 1
- On the morning of March 20, officials confirmed an officer with the Plano Police Department has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Plano officials say the employee likely became infected with COVID-19 while on a department-related trip out of state. That same officer went into the office for a few hours Friday, but then went home and has been in self-isolation since then, officials say. The officer was tested March 17 and received their results March 18. Officials say the employee does not require hospitalization. Other employees who were on the same work-related trip are also being tested.
Symptoms of coronavirus
At this time there is no vaccine for COVID-19, according to the CDC.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. The virus is spread person-to-person.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spread is happening mainly between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet) of each other via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The droplets land on the noses and mouths of other people, who then inhale them.
The CDC says it may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus and then a person touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread.
As the virus was discovered just a few months ago, more research is required to learn more about the spread pattern of the virus.
Health experts recommend taking the following preventative actions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Consult CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the US
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