By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — A representative from the Jefferson County Health Department came to Trussville on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, to brief police chiefs from across the county, on coronavirus COVID-19.
Julie Cobb, the Healthcare Coalition Coordinator for the health department, said communities and hospitals will be severely impacted by the spread of the illness.
“We already have hospitals on divert and at capacity for seasonal flu,” said Cobb.
Cobb said federal state and local health officials are watching the spread of coronavirus closely.
“Everybody is paying attention to this,” Cobb added. “Nobody is pretending this isn’t going to happen.”
In King County, Washington, Cobb said a major outbreak started in a long-term care facility. In fact, 10 nursing homes within the county have tested positive for coronavirus. Long-term care facilities were not originally thought to be at high risk for COVID-19, so Cobb said it is important for health officials to do what they can to protect the most vulnerable.
Cobb also suggested that each police department has a plan in case their officers are infected.
“Law enforcement can’t work from home,” said Cobb. “Think of your continuity of operations plan. Is there anything you can cut back on?”
Cobb said the health department recognizes that protecting first responders as a priority.
“We want to protect you,” she explained. “As a healthcare coalition, we know protecting you protects the system as a whole.”
The Jefferson County Health Department has provided a PDF explaining what you need to know about coronavirus. That information can be viewed by clicking here.
LabCorp is now able to perform tests for coronavirus, which Cobb said will allow more people to be tested, despite their symptoms or risk level.