OH Firefighters Not Told of Possible Coronavirus Exposure

March 20, 2020
Three Springfield Township firefighters discovered over social media that they could've been exposed to the virus after transporting a patient who became Ohio's first coronavirus victim.

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Three Ohio firefighters who treated the state's first coronavirus victim learned of their possible exposure over social media and not from the health department or the hospital where the patient was taken.

This week, Mark Wagoner Sr. became the first person to die from the coronavirus in Ohio, the Toledo Blade reports. Three Springfield Township firefighters had transported Wagoner to Toledo's St. Luke's Hospital, where he died Wednesday. 


At the time of his death, Wagoner was considered a presumptive coronavirus case. A postmortem test confirmed the diagnosis.

But the Springfield Township firefighters who dealt with Wagoner weren't alerted to the positive test result by either the hospital or the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, according to the Blade. They learned of the possible exposure through social media, something that didn't sit well with the Fire Chief Barry Cousino.

“I shared my displeasure with (the hospital and health department),” Cousino told the Blade. “The notification probably did not occur because it was only suspected and not confirmed. But I think first responders should have the right to have that information.”

He said the firefighters have been in quarantine since Thursday but weren't showing any symptoms of the virus. Going forward, Cousino said he was informed a better system to inform first responders of possible exposure was being worked on by the health department and area hospitals.

“I’m confident it’s going to be fixed,” he told the Blade.

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