First responders impacted by the coronavirus

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Friday, November 13, 2020
COVID-19 cases and deaths increasing in HPD, HFD
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Every day, those on the front lines suit up to protect us from COVID-19. But some are doing so at the cost of their own lives. The video above breaks down how different departments in the Houston area have been impacted in the pandemic.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston area said goodbye to Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Johnny Tunches on Thursday who died after a month long battle with COVID-19.

Tunches is the third deputy to die from coronavirus so far. Sergeant Raymond Scholwinski died in May, and Deputy Juan Menchaca died in June.

"Public servants must defend against the evil we've been seeing. Those that can't defend themselves still need our service," said Tunches' brother at the funeral for the deputy.

The rising number of COVID-19 cases in Houston and in the U.S. continues to impact not just law enforcement, but other first responders too.

READ MORE: Gov. Abbott's plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccine, medicine

The Houston Fire Department reported 85 firefighters were in quarantine as of Nov. 12. The department has seen 306 positive cases and three deaths. Cy-Fair Fire Department has had 20 positive cases to date.

579 police officers have tested positive for the virus in Houston, 36 officers in Pasadena and two in Friendswood.

SEE ALSO: How's Houston doing as state surpasses 1 million COVID-19 cases?

The risk of becoming infected with the virus adds even more pressure to an already dangerous job. But those on the front lines continue to take that risk every single day.

RELATED: Harris Co. Judge Lina Hidalgo on rising cases: 'Another pull-back is necessary'