“They are the frontline.”

The headline says Police, Health Care, Corrections Workers Have Lower Rate of Coronavirus Infection Than General New York Population.

The Governor of New York used the new data to proclaim the PPE works.  I thought great, maybe it does work, maybe all our complaining is just belly-aching.

“We were afraid of what was going to happen,” Cuomo said of concerns about healthcare workers being exposed to the virus. “But that is amazingly good news…It also shows everybody that the masks, the gloves and the hand sanitizer work. If they work for frontline workers, they’re going to work for people in their day-to-day lives.”

Then I read further into the article:

The only exception to the trend was among members of the New York City Fire Department and emergency medical technicians. Just over 17% of those workers were infected with COVID-19.

Here’s from another article more aptly titled: Antibody testing hints at coronavirus’ hellish toll on FDNY/EMS, NYPD

Here the Governor explains why the FDNY numbers are so high.

Of those screened, some 17.1 percent of FDNY/EMS members tested positive, the governor said.  “We believe that’s because the EMT number is driving it up,” said Cuomo. “They are the frontline.”

I’d like to know what percent of the EMTs are testing positive after you remove all the non EMTs from the FDNY numbers.  It is likely substantially higher.

Why are EMTS getting infected at higher rates than hospital workers? 

My guesses would be:

  1. Uncontrolled settings.
  2. Having to accompany a COVID positive person in the confined poorly ventilated space of an ambulance.
  3. Our PPE may not be as good as the hospital’s PPE. 




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