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42 New Orleans firefighters return to work after recovering from COVID-19

10 months 4 weeks 2 days ago Monday, May 11 2020 May 11, 2020 May 11, 2020 4:56 AM May 11, 2020 in News
Source: WWL-TV

NEW ORLEANS - After a number of firefighters in New Orleans found themselves coming down with symptoms of COVID-19, doctors have cleared them as virus-free and ready to return to work.

According to WWL-TV, one of the first responders who's back to work is Fire Captain Roy Simmons, a 27-year veteran of the New Orleans Fire Department who recently fought and beat suspected COVID-19.

"By the time I came back to work, I actually felt better than I can remember feeling in a long time, so that was pretty good," said Captain Simmons.

Simmons got a phone call from the department's medical coordinator, letting him know he had come into close contact with a positive patient. 

Surprisingly, Simmons said he was turned down at a drive-through test site and that he still hasn't gotten his hands on a test.

"For some odd reason, they wouldn't give me a test because my fever had broken," said Simmons. "And I told them I work for the fire department, and I explained the whole story, and they were like well, you know, your fever's not high enough."

Fifty members of the New Orleans Fire Department tested positive for the virus and 42 have returned to work. 

But the illness has claimed multiple New Orleans first responders, including Veteran NOPD officer Mark Hall, Senior, who died on April 30th.

While Simmons was able to beat the illness at home and had no major complications, he knows not everyone is as lucky.

"Being in the firefighting business for as long as I have, I just always kind of want folks to just be ok. It's my hope that, you know, everybody would kind of take it very seriously," he said.

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