The COVID-19 delta variant is causing a surge of positive case in Dallas, and first responders are getting infected once again, as reported by WFAA.
As of Monday, 10 firefighters were exposed to the virus and 21 have active infections, according to a statement made by DFFA.
What are the details?
DFFA President Jim McDade has brought forward his concerns about staffing shortages and constantly overworking active firefighters. Another legal tightrope is also posed by the recent executive order banning mask mandates in local municipalities or counties.
“There are legal questions regarding how the governor's orders will affect us since the city cannot mandate that we wear masks or order protocols with masks involved. There could be some unintended consequences with staffing with his executive action,” McDade said for the news outlet.
The governor’s order does allow first responders to wear masks when answering an emergency, but the gray area concerns the firehouse where firefighters stay while on duty.
“There would need to be a substantial uptick in cases, but with the delta variant, this looks like it's coming back. We have 21 active cases right now, and a few weeks ago, we didn't have any. So, that's very concerning.”
Jason Evans, the Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesperson, has stated that there were three COVID-19 cases in June, but that number became 29 in July. For the month of August three cases have already been reported. There are about 900 fully vaccinated firefighters.
“We've got a handful of positive cases. And we have tightened things up a bit, making sure everyone is aware of what's going on and how the delta variant is moving,” spokesperson Mike Drivdahl said, pointing out that each firehouse is now alerted to additional precautions.