coronavirus

2 Tarrant County Detectives Who Had Coronavirus Plan to Donate Plasma to Help Others

Officers are back to work after experiencing relatively mild symptoms

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Two detectives in the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office went back to work Monday after recovering from the coronavirus – and now they plan to donate plasma to help others.

Det. Jerry Brown and Det. Mark Smith said they had mild symptoms.

"I only felt bad for probably about three or four days,” Brown said. “I never had a fever."

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"I had mild allergy symptoms and a little bit of a scratch in the throat,” Smith said. "There were a couple days I was just very tired, just took a couple naps.”

Brown was home for three weeks; Smith was out for two weeks. They had to have two negative tests before they were cleared to return to work.

The two investigate fraud and property crimes.

Neither is sure how they got the virus, but both trained together with firearms last month before they became ill.

Both detectives said they’re feeling much better now.

"I feel 100%. Absolutely,” Brown said.

They were worried about infecting their families and isolated themselves.

"I've got a back TV room that became my little office,” Smith said.

Their family members show no symptoms, they said.

They've heard how doctors are using an experimental treatment on coronavirus patients who don't respond to anything else by giving them plasma from those who have recovered.

Both detectives said they planned on donating theirs.

"If that's an option for us, then certainly I think anybody I know would be of the same mindset,” Brown said. “I don't think there's anything to it. It just goes without saying that's something you'd want to do."

They've applied online with Carter BloodCare and are waiting for appointments.

The donation center has a special web page for recovered coronavirus victims who may want to donate.

"This is a natural instinct for us to want to help other people,” Smith said. “That's my main message I want to get out to everybody, is if you've recovered from this and there's something you can do to help others recover from this and save lives, that's what we need to do."

The detectives also wanted to spread the message that even people with minor symptoms can test positive and pass on the virus to others -- possibly without even knowing.

A third Tarrant County deputy tested positive for the virus, the agency said. He was assigned to the court system and had not been at work for two weeks before his diagnosis.

Other law enforcement agencies have reported a number of officers who have tested positive for the virus.

Fort Worth police announced Monday a fourth officer was infected. In Dallas, six officers have tested positive.

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