Dispatcher with Fresno County Sheriff's Office tests positive for COVID-19

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A first responder dedicated to helping others is now in need of help himself after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office confirmed one of their dispatch supervisors tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.

Sheriff Margaret Mims says the dispatcher was working Sunday, and called out sick Monday.

"I told my boss - 'I think this is more than allergies, it feels like a bad case of the flu'," the dispatcher told ABC30. "I thought I was taking all the precautions and using all the resources available. I never thought I was going to get it."

Sheriff Mims says they're now working on tracing anyone and everyone the sick dispatcher may have come into contact with in the last few weeks.

"We found out Wednesday he tested positive for COVID. We let all of the employees know that work in dispatch, they're working protective gear, we've sanitized everything and are watching them," said Mims.

"Last week was Worker Appreciation Week, so there were some get-togethers with dispatchers at the workspace," the sheriff said.

The sheriff said there usually are about 10 dispatchers working at a time, and they were all given safety equipment at the start of the crisis to use when they felt necessary.

Now, employees won't have an option.

The sheriff says there are more than 20 sheriff's office employees off work due to COVID-19 impacts, including 10 correctional officers she says came into contact with a known COVID inmate.

Mims says they're monitoring the situation closely, and hoping the dispatcher will recover soon so he can return to work.

So far, the dispatcher is their only confirmed case of COVID-19 out of 1,200 employees.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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