Healthcare workers make up roughly 20% of the country’s COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC.
But in Honolulu, EMS crews working the front lines have remained virus-free.
That’s largely because of safety protocols that mean a lot more care goes into every single 911 call. “The dispatchers do their best to screen but sometimes we won’t have that information whether or not someone’s been exposed,” said paramedic Manahel Al-Hozail.
“At bare minimum we are going in with gloves, N-95s and eye protection. It takes a few more minutes for each call.”
Every shift, Honolulu’s EMS crews risk exposure.
Over the past couple months, Al-Hozail says she’s treated more than a few patients suspected of having the coronavirus. “At least 20 that have kind of been concerning for me personally,” she said.