WEB EXCLUSIVE: ‘We’re not seeing the degree of sickness that we were in 2020’: Cabell County EMS


HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers across the country have been receiving an overwhelming number of calls from people contracting COVID-19 and enduring the symptoms.

Still, with the high call volume, some EMS workers say the condition of the people they’re picking up looks a lot better than during the earlier months of the pandemic.

What’s the difference?

“In 2020, when COVID-19 hit, there were no vaccinations. The people we were transporting were truly sick, very sick – and there were a lot of them. But once we got the vaccination – people were vaccinated, our numbers started going down. We still transport people with COVID-19, but a lot of them that are vaccinated aren’t having to go to the hospital because of the vaccination. The ones that have not been vaccinated, unfortunately, are very sick when they go to the hospital,” says Gordon Merry, the Director with Cabell County Emergency Services.

Officials in Cabell County say they make daily pick-ups for people to be transported to the hospital for COVID-19-related symptoms. Merry says those who are vaccinated typically have it easier as they can “basically stay at home, recover, then go back to work.”

He says because workers “are not seeing the degree of sickness that [they] were in 2020,” the scene also looks a lot different for the EMS workers as well.

Change for EMS workers:

“It’s nothing like in 2020 where we actually had Tyvek suits on, goggles, and masks. We’ve now got to the point that we use masks and eye protection where appropriate. It’s a much lower requirement on us.”

He says if he can tell the public one thing, it’s “please get vaccinated. Please. We’ve got to do it, and it does make a difference.”

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