Early in the novel coronavirus pandemic, Nick Fugate figured he would probably get infected sooner or later. As a paramedic with King County Medic One, he and his colleagues were transporting gravely ill patients every day, amid an atmosphere of uncertainty and urgency. Even now that hospitalizations have declined, Fugate puts his odds at 50-50.
“We are still seeing COVID patients pretty regularly, particularly in the nursing home facilities and our other vulnerable populations,” he said.
So Fugate, who lives in Edmonds, was eager to sign up for an unusual research project that aims to monitor front-line workers for six months to better understand the risks they face and follow the progression of the disease in those who do get sick. Among the goals is figuring out why some people develop symptoms and others do not, and whether people can be infected again after recovering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus.