Due to the Public Health Emergency of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) that is sweeping the nation, many local agencies have been operating under an individual Incident Command System (ICS), meaning they have been preparing for the arrival of COVID-19 through heightened communication, and planning.
While there are 0 Persons Under Investigation (PUI) and 0 confirmed cases in Erie County as of Saturday, March 14, 2020, 17 key stakeholders met to open an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to join and operate under a unified command structure. This is a joint decision between public and private sector to combine all resources and efforts in order to keep Erie County healthy, safe, and with minimal disruption.
With Governor Mike DeWine’s recent proactive executive orders to limit access to nursing homes and long term care facilities, ban gatherings of 100 or more, close schools, and loosen child care rules, it is time to put into place the emergency preparedness we practice regularly.
These agencies had representation at the EOC: Cedar Point, Erie County Commissioners, Erie County Health Department, Erie County Emergency Management Agency, Erie County Sheriff’s Office, Firelands Regional Medical Center, Groton Township Fire Department, Margaretta Township Fire Department, Perkins Township Fire Department. All have all taken preventative steps to prepare. All agencies prepare for changes in staff and how to handle that situation due to child care or employees who are out due to illness.
The EOC has a plan in place for when drive through testing is available. Firelands and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office have visitor restrictions. The EOC is developing a plan for childcare now that schools are closed. There are plans to expand treatment capacity as necessary, and preparations to keep health care staff, EMS and Law Enforcement Officers safe.
In order to keep our community informed and up to date, Erie County Health Department will be expanding information line capabilities to receive more calls. The goal is to have an entire call center operational with the capacity to answer questions as they come in by Tuesday. This is a quickly evolving situation and it can be difficult to know the current situation and guidance which is why they will continue to have the most accurate local information on www.ErieCoHealthOhio.org.
Erie County COVID-19 Call Center number Ext. 284