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First responders adjust to working during coronavirus outbreak

Working from home is an option for some but it's not that easy for doctors, firefighters or police officers.

First responders are on the front lines of this epidemic.

We're all feeling the effects but it means a lot more than closed restaurants and businesses.

Doctors, police officers and firefighters are stepping up their cleaning and preparing for what could happen next.

Dennis Taylor is the President of the North Carolina Nurses Association and an acute care nurse practitioner at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He said things haven't changed too much, but small details are making a big difference.

"A lot of nursing is personal touch and right now that is something we are having to curb and curtail. That does make it difficult," said Taylor.

Police officers are feeling that difference too. They're wearing gloves more often on calls and wiping down squad cars every time someone sits in their back seat.

High Point Police and other departments said they're still responding as quickly and as often as normal but there are a few things High Point Police said would help them.

"The biggest thing they could do is stop crime, but of course we know that's not gonna happen. When feasible, call the non-emergency number and some of the non-essential sworn staff will be completing that incident report. All it is, instead of a face to face contact it's just over the phone, that's the only difference," said High Point Police Lieutenant Matt Truitt.

High Point Police and High Point Fire Department said 911 communications are asking callers about exposure to the coronavirus. Officers or firemen will wear protective gear when needed.

High Point Fire Department said it's all about keeping staff healthy and the community safe.

"There's only a select few of us that are doing this job in the city so if we start spreading it firefighter to firefighter, we'll be down personnel and won't be able to respond," said High Point Fire Equipment Operator Dustin Davis.

Police and fire personnel may also ask you to come outside of your home when they respond to a call. It's a precaution departments are taking to maintain social distancing.

Police will also be responding to violations of Governor Cooper's executive orders related to the virus. 

High Point Police said it's gotten a lot of questions about limits on gatherings of people. If you are violating that order, officers will ask you to disperse voluntarily.

Those who don't could face misdemeanor charges.

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