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County and city officials are urging patients with the coronavirus or its symptoms to disclose their status to dispatchers if they need emergency services while quarantining or isolating.

In Killeen, residents are urged to use 9-1-1 only for true emergencies. Killeen residents can call 254-501-7660 for non-emergency fire/EMS service, and they can call 254-501-8800 for non-emergency police service, city spokeswoman Hilary Shine said via email.

Shine said that requesting service from the non-emergency numbers will help prevent potential exposure of first responders.

“If calling for emergency response is necessary, confirmed or presumed contagious conditions should be fully disclosed,” Shine said via email. “Callers may be asked for additional information to determine the appropriate response.”

Michael Harmon, Bell County’s emergency management coordinator and communications center director, echoed Shine’s sentiments Thursday.

“This will help protect the first responders as well as anyone that may be in the vicinity or at the receiving facility,” Harmon said via email.

Coryell County

The same practice is being urged by Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell.

Harrell said that anyone who tests positive, is awaiting test results or has symptoms consistent with the coronavirus and is isolating or quarantining should disclose that information to the dispatcher if emergency services are required.

Disclosure of the information will allow emergency personnel to take necessary precautions when responding, Harrell said.

Bell County

Along with similar recommendations as Killeen and Coryell County, Harmon said its dispatchers receive assistance from the county public health district.

The county dispatch office receives the addresses of individuals who have tested positive for the virus.

“Between the information we are able to gather from the calling party as well as the information from the health department we are able to protect the first responders and health care staff as much as possible,” Harmon said via email Thursday.

(2) comments

Bluestorm68

Why? So they can refuse to see us??? That's what happened to me when I was sick. It wasn't the Coronavirus, and I knew it. I figured it may be the flu. but when I called my Scott and White Clinic in Killeen to be seen, then refused to see me. They had me do an E-Visit, and got back to me with the wrong diagnosis a few days later. They sent me an message on mychart stating that I had a sinus/upper respiratory infection. That was not what I had at all. I ended up going to Freedom Urgent Care on W.S. Young Drive, and they gladly saw me. Freedom Urgent Care took all necessary precautions, just in case it was the Coronavirus. They did a strep test, a flu test, and a chest x-ray. The doc there diagnosed me with a virus that mimics the flu. He was appalled that Scott and White refused to see me, and told me that I was welcome at Freedom Urgent Care anytime, no matter what. I was very thankful to him and his staff. My own S & W Clinic in Killeen would have let me die, if I had had the Coronavirus. The appt person on the phone told me that I could not be seen. I am floored. Then I was told by another medical professional that Scott and White passed down an order to the clinics that anyone 50 and older with pre-existing conditions would not be seen, and that Scott and White was limited on Ventilators. We are not even at a critical point yet, and yet they refused to see me. I am a young 51, and yes, I have a lot of health issues, but I also still have a son in high school that I am raising alone. I am very upset about this. I don't look my age, can get around just fine, and they did this to me. Luckily it was not Coronavirus, but my opinion of Scott and White has gone south. I am not upset with my doctors at Scott and White in Killeen, I am upset with the orders that were passed down from higher ups. My doctors themselves are awesome, but that ties their hands. My son also has heart problems and asthma. Are they going to kick him to the curb too?? I'm scared to find out. He is 18 and deserves a fighting chance. He wants to become an EMT, but if he gets this virus, will he even be treated? I have my doubts and my fears for him. I am just disgusted beyond words.

Hacksaw

You should file a formal complaint with the State Health and Human Services Commission! Hope you feel better soon.

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