Washington County Sees Jump in COVID-19 Cases, County Board Updated on Preparedness

County Health Department Administrator Elizabeth Lehde informed the Washington County Board that the county has had two positive tests of COVID-19 at its meeting last Tuesday. (That increased to a total of seven in the next six days at press time.) Thirty-nine tests for the virus were negative. (Up to 48 by press time.)

“I believe it is in the community,” Lehde said.

EMA Coordinator Matt Bierman reported  that First Responders and volunteer firemen and police have been provided adequate PPE’s (personal protection equipment). They got N-95 masks and gloves, and are in process of getting gowns, all provided by Illinois EMA.

Marlee Bochantin is preparing documents for reimbursement from FEMA for county expenses related to COVID-19. “She has gone above and beyond  in learning the process, Bierman said.

The EMA Director also reported that he has contacted a hotel about housing non-symptomatic people who require isolation because they have had contact with a symptomatic COVID-positive or COVID suspect person, if necessary. No agreement has been reached, Bierman said. Little Nashville would be contracted to provide meals.

County employees have staggered work weeks so that if  an employee tests positive and is quarantined, the office can still provide services. Offices are closed to non-employees entering during the stay-at-home  requirement.

The staff of the Sheriff’s Department and Ambulance Department have regular shift schedules, but follow protocol for entering and leaving their buildings and wearing PPE in contact with people. “As a precaution, every person is treated with the assumption they could be infected with COVID, said Bierman.

Read full Board meeting details plus details on the latest reported COVID-19 cases in this week’s issue. 

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