The Colorado Springs Fire Department will start a new screening process for people they encounter through emergency calls who may have COVID-19. The goal is to have people manage their symptoms at home, if at all possible.
The protocol includes a screening for the symptoms of the new coronavirus and a look at possible risk factors like age and underlying conditions. There’s also the option to video chat with a physician. If it’s determined the patient can recover at home, they’ll be given detailed instructions and have access to medical care if problems arise.
Dr. Matt Angelidis serves as co-medical director for the fire department. He was part of the team that developed the protocol.
“We’re doing our very best to provide excellent care and try to prevent the spread of the infection and potentially making those patients who use 9-1-1 sicker than they already are.”
Fire Chief Ted Collas says this will help ease pressure on emergency departments and health care workers,“because our emergency department staff is working around the clock to take care of patients that are coming in that definitely need that emergency care.”
Officials hope the screening practice will also help slow the spread of the virus.