Dozens of first responders out in quarantine as first Dallas officer with COVID-19 returns to work

An eighth Dallas firefighter has tested positive for the coronavirus and 120 are now in quarantine.

The Dallas Firefighters Association confirmed the healthy first responders are working overtime to cover the shifts of those who are out.

The department has issued face masks and is doing all it can to respond to calls.

The Dallas Police Department confirmed 11 members of their department have also tested positive for COVID-19, but one of those officers is now back on the job.

The Dallas Police Department welcomed Officer Johnny Walker back to work Wednesday.

He was infected but made a full recovery.

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Walker said this experience makes him, more than ever, want to give back to people of Dallas.

“It made me realize that things can change in the spur of the moment. You can have a lot, and then within a few hours, you can go to almost bare minimum,” he said.

Walker, a seven-year veteran who’s assigned to the central patrol division, said he started to feel sick while driving into work on March 20. He said it felt like the flu and he immediately went to get tested.

“The worst thing I would want to do personally is infect someone else,” Walker added.

Walker recalled that day three was the worst, as he dealt with chills, body aches, and fatigue.

Still, he feels fortunate his temperature never rose above 100 degrees.

It took eight days to receive his positive test result.

He was quarantined for 16 days.

“I stayed home, watched TV, did whatever I can within my house,” he said.

He’s happy to put a face to a recovery, instead of just being another number.

“I think people can associate with actually seeing somebody who went through it and came out of it,” Walker said.

He said the show of community support, with thousands sending prayers and well wishes, makes him want to deliver it right back.

“It makes me want to work even harder when I go to work for the community that I’m in,” Walker added.