Ocala Fire Rescue evolves with COVID-19 virus

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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB)-- With confirmed cases of the coronavirus in North Central Florida, many emergency response agencies have changed the way they handle calls.

As the fifth positive case of COVID-19 is reported in Marion County, almost every aspect of emergency response has changed.

911 dispatchers are now asking callers certain questions before a response team arrives at the scene.

EMS teams are also limiting entry into nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and when possible they will meet with callers outside.

Officials said this is a very fluid situation and they will continue to evolve to help keep the patient and those responding safe.

"You just need to have all full PPE/PPP on regardless of what type of call it is right now. Any call could be related to COVID-19. We are continuing to evolve as the situation evolves,” OFR Assistant Fire Chief Clint Welborn said.

Wellborn said they want to be as safe as possible when responding to calls.

Crews have face masks, goggles, gloves, and suits they must now wear.