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Lufkin first responders will deliver food, meds to COVID-19 infected homes

Lufkin first-responders standing in front of The Pines Theater in masks
Lufkin first-responders standing in front of The Pines Theater in masks(Source: Lufkin Police and Fire)
Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 6:59 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The City of Lufkin says they are taking a proactive approach to decrease the number of COVID-19 infections in Angelina County.

Through the city’s Community Para-Medicine Program, off-duty Lufkin first responders will perform grocery and medication delivery for households infected by the virus to enable infected patients to stay home.

On average, a COVID-19 positive person infects 1.8 people. By eliminating their exposure to the public, Lufkin Fire Chief Jesse Moody believes that number will drop.

“We’ll run any errand for them to allow them to stay home until they are no longer infectious,” Moody said. “COVID-19 is spread by close person to person contact primarily. If we can get infected people to stay at home, we know we can help bend the curve back the other direction.”

Diseases like Malaria, Zika and West Nile are spread by insects, therefore there is little that can be done to mitigate the spread. That is not the case with COVID-19, according to Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson.

“COVID-19 is spread solely from one infected individual to another,” Williamson said. “If an infected individual stays home and does not go out in public, the infection stops with that person. Stopping the spread is that simple.”

Paramedics will also answer medical calls from infected individuals and those awaiting test results to help determine if they need to seek more specialized care.

To qualify for services, you must either be awaiting COVID-19 test results or have been confirmed COVID-19 positive and meet the CDC criteria of an infectious patient. Persons utilizing the service must make their own selections and pay for them via pickup apps offered by various retail outlets Walmart, Target and Brookshire Brothers. If the service call is for a pharmacy pickup, prescriptions must be paid for over the phone prior to the first responder’s arrival at the pharmacy.

The program kicks off at 7 a.m. Friday, July 10th. To contact the program for service, call 936-633-0386.

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