Guelph-Wellington paramedic tests positive for COVID-19

GUELPH – Eight local paramedics are self-isolating after a fellow member of the Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service (GWPS) tested positive for COVID-19.

“A positive case amongst our paramedics underscores the reality that COVID-19 is still a circulating threat in our community,” stated Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer in an Oct. 21 press release.

“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.”

Officials say GWPS is implementing a COVID-19 response plan “to prevent the virus from spreading within the organization and the community.”

In the 48 hours before the testing positive, the paramedic affected “was not involved in high-risk calls,” and eight co-workers are now isolating and waiting for test results, officials added.

GWPS did not identify locations where the paramedic worked.

“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,” stated GWPS Chief Stephen Dewar.

“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.”

Dewar also thanked residents “for doing what they can to slow the spread of this virus … so our health care systems can continue providing excellent care for the people and families affected by COVID-19.”

Officials say ambulance response times and services will not be impacted by the positive test.

“Replacement paramedics are filling scheduled shifts, all ambulances are staffed and continue responding to emergency calls,” states the press release.