Three Springfield Township (Lucas County, Ohio) Firefighters are in quarantine after they learned through social media they had been exposed to a presumptive coronavirus patient.
Chief Barry Cousino told The Blade neither the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department nor St. Luke’s Hospital informed his department of the potential exposure. The three firefighters transported Mark Wagoner, Sr., to the hospital last week. State and local leaders said Friday afternoon that Mr. Wagoner was the state’s first victim of coronavirus.
Mr. Wagoner died Wednesday from what family said then was a presumptive coronavirus case. Chief Cousino said his wife saw the news coverage on Facebook on Thursday evening, after which he called the health department himself.
“I shared my displeasure with them,” Chief Cousino said. “The notification probably did not occur because it was only suspected and not confirmed. But I think first responders should have the right to have that information.”
The health department on Friday confirmed that Mr. Wagoner’s test results came back positive for the disease at the center of a global pandemic.
Shannon Lands, spokesman for the health department, and Jean Gillen, spokesman for St. Luke’s Hospital, did not immediately return calls from The Blade seeking comment.
Chief Cousino said the three firefighters went into quarantine Thursday evening and were being administered tests for coronavirus Friday.
“They are not exhibiting any signs or symptoms,” Chief Cousino said.
The chief said he was told the health department will be working with their staff and local hospitals to “firm up their notification of first responders for any suspected cases.”
“I’m confident it’s going to be fixed,” he said.