During the Vermilion City Council Meeting on Monday, April 13, 2020, Mayor Forthofer reported that the Erie County Health Commissioner, Pete Schade, informed him that a case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Kingston Long Term Care in the City of Vermilion.
“This is particularly concerning considering the close living quarters and ages of the residents,” stated the mayor. “Our first responders have been notified.”
The mayor stated he is often pressed for the exact number of cases in Vermilion and where they are.
“I don't find this information useful or even allowed by HIPAA,” said the mayor. “I am advised that the aggressive contagiousness of this virus demands the same precautions whether we have one case or one hundred. Just assume that everyone in town is a carrier without symptoms and behave accordingly. Stay apart, stay home and wash your hands”
The mayor speaks with the ECHD every day, several times a day.
“The ECHD, Chief Hartung and I confer regularly on enforcement of State orders regarding Stay at Home, Social Distancing and Essential Businesses,” stated Mayor Forthofer.
The mayor stated the Vermilion Police and Fire Dispatchers have been moved from the police station to a building in the city services department. The intention is to minimize cross contamination in case someone contracts COVID-19. Police field personnel have a high degree of exposure to the virus.
“Dispatch is a smaller unit that needs to continue to operate,” said the mayor. “The dispatchers will be relocated once the Governor indicates it is safe.”
The mayor stated he is grateful that the Vermilion Police Department and the Vermilion Fire Department personnel are healthy at this time. They are operating with precautions as much as is practical.