Paramedic Emma Carpenter, left, and a colleague wearing personal protective equipment at work.(Supplied: Emma Carpenter)ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelFor the last few months, Emma Carpenter has been on the front line of the coronavirus battle in Victoria.Key points:Paramedic Emma Carpenter tested positive for COVID-19 after a weekend away camping with four other familiesShe does not know where she contracted the virusShe is currently in 14-day self-isolationA paramedic who has been on the job for 15 years, she says she has never experienced anything like the pandemic.Now, her fight has become personal.It was the Monday after a weekend away camping that she first started to develop symptoms."I never thought for a second that it was anything more than a cold," Emma said."I just had a sore throat. I did feel like my glands were getting a little bit swollen and a little bit of lethargy. Just mostly like I was getting a cold."Given her role in the community, Emma wanted to be tested straight away. She went for testing on Tuesday and 24 hours later, she was officially COVID-19 positive."I was shocked and then of course you start to think after that, oh my gosh, what do I do now? Who have I been in contact with?"Emma's thoughts turned immediately to her husband and kids and then to the four other families they had been away with."I wasn't symptomatic when I was with them but I obviously was contagious 48 hours prior to my onset of symptoms," she said.Coronavirus latest: Follow all the latest information in our COVID-19 live blogDifficult to be separated from children Emma Carpenter said her kids have found it hard to understand why she cannot be near them, particularly now she looks well.(Supplied: Emma Carpenter)Everyone that went on the camping trip, including Emma's immediate family, tested negative and Emma entered her 14-day self-isolation period.With the exception of daily walks out to her horses, Emma has been confined to one end of the family home for more than a week.It is challenging for lots of reasons, she said, but particularly because it means she is separated from her kids, Jack and Sarah."After the symptoms subsided, I didn't feel unwell and I didn't look unwell so they couldn't really understand why I couldn't come out and be with them," she said."You know, no hugs, no kiss good night or anything like that."Contact tracing is underway but at this stage, Emma does not know how she contracted coronavirus.She said she had taken every precaution, particularly while working. "If we attend anybody that has any type of respiratory symptoms or fever, we have to wear personal protective equipment, it's a policy, and we wear goggles and gloves and these white suits that make us look like aliens," she said."This is all in place to keep us safe and keep the community safe so that we can continue to do our job and make sure that everybody can get an ambulance if they need one."'Same challenges as everybody else' Emma Carpenter gets a coronavirus test.(Supplied: Emma Carpenter)"It's unpredictable and as a paramedic, I'm not immune to it," Emma said."I face the same challenges as everybody else."Coronavirus questions answeredBreaking down the latest news and research to understand how the world is living through an epidemic, this is the ABC's Coronacast podcast.Read moreIn a statement to 7.30, Ambulance Victoria detailed the measures that are currently in place to keep paramedics and the community safe."Paramedics wear personal protective equipment to all cases and are taking every precaution to protect their patients, themselves and their colleagues," the statement said."In addition, this now includes wearing face masks at all times on shift when social distancing cannot be absolutely maintained."In response to the rise in community transmission, all Ambulance Victoria staff are now asked to follow the Chief Health Officer's advice and wear facemasks when in public settings such as supermarkets where social distancing cannot be absolutely guaranteed."Emma and her family were re-tested for coronavirus today and are currently awaiting their results.Once she has been given the all-clear, she said she will be straight back to work.What you need to know about coronavirus:Should I wear a face mask?The symptomsThe number of cases in AustraliaGlobal cases, deaths and testing rates
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