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EMS workers expected to keep working after coronavirus exposure

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EMS workers expected to keep working after coronavirus exposure

FDNY paramedic Christell Cadet, 34, is hospitalized after she was diagnosed with coronavirus. (CNN)Earlier this week, Christell Cadet was a healthy 34-year-old working as a paramedic in New York City. On Tuesday, she started having shortness of breath. By Wednesday, her symptoms were so severe she had to be hospitalized.

Cadet spoke to CNN through labored breaths and coughing from her hospital bed Friday, hours after she found out she’d tested positive for Covid-19, the illness caused by coronavirus. She says she has asthma, but it’s normally well-controlled. She never expected to be one of many who are hospitalized by the virus.

"I did not think it was going to get me this bad," Cadet said. "My asthma is really under control otherwise."

Cadet had been working "light duty" for the past several weeks, taking care of maintenance around the Fire Department of New York station where she works. She had no patient contact and stayed in the station. As officials began to warn the public to maintain "social distancing," Cadet said her only contact with the outside world was through her work as an "essential worker."

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She stayed at the station but said her co-workers responded to multiple calls where they came in contact with people who were showing symptoms of the coronavirus. Some of the people they treated later tested positive for the virus, her coworkers told her.

"I wasn’t even having patient contact, just exposed to my co-workers," Cadet said.

When asked about Cadet’s case, FDNY spokesman Jim Long said, "Covid-19 is at the level of community exposure and has been for many days."He added that 15 members of the fire department […]

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