The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at an Essex-Windsor EMS facility.

There was no interaction between paramedics and patients at the facility, according to a news release from the County of Essex.

“The employees who tested positive for COVID-19 at this facility are recovering at home and had no contact with patients or the public,” said the statement. “All Essex-Windsor EMS facilities are subject to heightened cleaning and disinfection practices.”

Separately, 10 paramedics have now tested positive for COVID-19.

County officials said it is important to note that these cases are neither linked nor the result of exposure in the workplace. These positives are the result of community transmission, which is widespread and growing in Windsor-Essex.

The county said there is absolutely no evidence of patient-to-paramedic or paramedic-to-patient transmission of the virus.

Essex-Windsor EMS paramedics and staff continue to adhere to all enhanced infection control procedures and protocols.

No paramedic contracted COVID-19 during the first wave in the spring and these recent positives should serve as a stark warning to Windsor-Essex residents that COVID-19 is everywhere in our community and that public health measures should be strictly followed, said Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter.

“We need to treat every single person we meet as though they are infected with COVID-19 because community transmission is rampant, and we also need to take individual precautions because any of us could unwittingly be carrying and spreading this deadly virus,” said Krauter.

“We need everyone to do their part to keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. Please, limit your contacts and avoid non-essential trips. Wash your hands and wear a mask. We all need to make smart and selfless decisions to keep ourselves, our families and our community safe and to support those working on the front lines.”

Officials say residents should have every confidence in knowing that if they require urgent pre-hospital emergency care, they can call 911 and be treated safely by our professional and compassionate paramedics who have been battling on the front lines of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.