Fire chief: Dedicated ambulance used to transport San Antonio coronavirus patient

The San Antonio case marks the 15th confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States


Madalyn Mendoza
San Antonio Express-News

SAN ANTONIO — There have been many questions raised about the first case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) now confirmed in San Antonio. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed one of the 91 evacuees quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland who was showing symptoms of the virus was transported to an undisclosed local hospital and later tested positive.

Among the questions was how the patient was transferred from the Air Force base to the hospital. San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood cleared up questions about the transportation of the victim in a news conference headed by a team of local, state and federal officials Thursday morning.

This photograph shared by the San Antonio Fire Department shows the inside of a dedicated ambulance used to transport patients suspected of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. San Antonio confirmed the United States' 15th case of COVID-19 on Thursday. (Photo/San Antonio Fire Department)
This photograph shared by the San Antonio Fire Department shows the inside of a dedicated ambulance used to transport patients suspected of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. San Antonio confirmed the United States' 15th case of COVID-19 on Thursday. (Photo/San Antonio Fire Department)

He said there was a plan in place and a special infectious disease response ambulance was used to transport the patient.

SAFD shared a photo of what one of these dedicated ambulances look like. The photo shows the walls in the special unit completely covered with plastic sheets. Hood said the vehicle will be dedicated to this event "throughout" and will not be used on the streets of San Antonio.

"This ambulance is dedicated to this mission only," Hood said.

He added that the department has more than 30 members dedicated to the Infectious Disease Response Unit that has been in place since 2018.

"Citizens should expect the tremendous care they receive every single day, this is is not going to change that," Hood said.

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