The most recent uptick in positive cases across the Washington region has hit the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) Department particularly hard, prompting longer shifts for some first responders who’ve had to fill in for out-of-service employees.
As of Tuesday, 363 — about 18% — of the 2,039 D.C. FEMS employees were quarantining due to COVID-19 cases or exposures, according to the department. Of those, 309 have reported a positive COVID-19 test, while 54 staffers are quarantining due to a close contact. Over a four-day period, from Christmas Eve to Tuesday, a total of 190 workers tested positive.
Additionally, there have been multiple reports of ambulance delays due to long hospital wait times and a high volume of non-emergency 911 calls — which have gone up during the holidays.