Emergency Management, Public Health, MercyOne: EOC is closely monitoring situation
Officials from MercyOne New Hampton Medical Center, Chickasaw County Public Health and Homecare services and Chickasaw County Emergency Management are reminding residents that the county’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) is open and has an emergency response structure in place to deal with community questions and public requests while also attempting to reduce the duplication of efforts.
The three organizations released a joint media statement late Saturday in which they said they were working closely working with business representatives and religious leaders as they continue monitoring a situation that they say “is evolving quickly.”
The Chickasaw County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a centralized location to support multi-agency and/or multi-jurisdiction disaster response coordination and communication. The structure used is the incident command system, which is the standard nation-wide. Each day, the EOC director, section chiefs, and management staff receive regular briefings, establish emergency management priorities, review current objectives, plan future objectives, and formulate the EOC Action Plan for COVID-19.
"The organizational structure we follow is the same structure counties all over country use," explained county EOC Public Information Officer, Bridget Edson. "Our team is working daily on our local COVID-19 response are all trained in emergency management planning, response, and recovery capabilities for planned and unplanned events. We ask for a level of understanding from the community as our teams work diligently to stay on top of this constantly changing situation."
Local agencies are also requesting patience from the community as there are many who are wanting to help in any way they can.
"We greatly appreciate the community's willingness to help out by making mask covers and donating other supplies," expressed MercyOne New Hampton CEO, Aaron Flugum. "Please understand though that while there are many great ideas on social media to help during this time, our health care team needs to validate what is truly needed and how homemade items can be laundered and used so we don't create an infection prevention issue.
“The command center at MercyOne is operational and our team is working around the clock, each and every day for the residents of our service area. We are working closely with the county EOC by having a liaison in the county command center daily."
The joint statement said that the “outbreak of COVID-19” continues to be a fluid and changing situation.”
The entities that releases the statement said while it is a priority to keep the public informed about updates in Chickasaw County, “please understand that the No. 1 priority is to care for patients, protect their privacy and implement emergency preparedness plans.”
Those who have questions regarding Coronavirus are reminded that the Iowa Department of Public Health is taking calls at 211 to help residents through the current situation.
MercyOne, Public Health and Emergency Management are asking those who want to donate supplies locally or offer assistance in other ways to call the EOC at 641-229-8011 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.