ELIZABETH, Pa. (KDKA) – A local police chief is sharing his experience for the first time after testing positive for COVID-19. He recently got back to work after being out for over a month. This comes as many first responders in the state are waiting on their turn to get vaccinated.
“Had I argued with her and stayed at home, the doctors told me I would have been dead,” said Elizabeth Borough Police Chief William Sombo.READ MORE: Trump-Backed Candidate Bob Paduchik Tapped To Head Ohio Republican Party
Sombo said he has his wife to thank for getting him to Forbes Hospital.
“I was in convulsions at home, 106.5 degree temperature. I was completely burned up. I didn’t know what was going on,” said Sombo.
He said that was at the beginning of December. Chief Sombo was working the search for missing Jefferson Hills teen Jeno Moretti when he thought he thought he caught a cold.
“In the command post, we were all very close. Some were wearing masks, and some weren’t,” said Sombo. “Unbeknownst to us, one of the individuals had COVID.”
Sure enough, that cold Chief Sombo thought he had turned out to be COVID. He got so sick, he ended up in the hospital battling more than just COVID.
“I had COVID, I had pneumonia in my lungs and five blood clots,” said Sombo.READ MORE: Police Arrest Man Accused Of Shooting Neighbor In The Arm After Dispute
The 61-year-old says he has pre-diabetes and high blood pressure which made the situation worse. He said it was a scary experience that put his life into perspective.
“In the beginning I was skeptical. I thought it was overrated but I gotta tell you it’s not overrated,” said Sombo.
This is why he wants the vaccine now. However, Chief Sombo and his officers will have to wait a little bit longer before it’s their turn, since first responders are in the state’s 1B phase.
“We are still waiting,” said Sombo.
When the time does come, Chief Sombo enourages his officers to roll up their sleeves. He plans on doing the same.
“100 percent,” said Sombo.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Heavy Rainfall, Flood Watches And Warnings Issued
Chief Sombo said he’s not sure when his officers will be getting vaccinated. If you test positive for COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said you must wait at least 30 days before you are able to get the shot. The DOH said that’s because the vaccine is recommended for people who have sufficiently recovered from the virus.