The Hamilton County Commissioners, along with the Hamilton County Health Department and Emergency Management Agency (EMA), are preparing citizens and employees for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are monitoring and managing the situation,” says County Commissioner Christine Altman. “We are reviewing our pandemic flu and infectious disease plans and are ready to implement them if needed.”
The Health Department and Emergency Management team are working directly with local hospitals, health care providers, and local cities and towns to ensure everyone is kept in the loop.
“The biggest thing is getting ahead of it,” says Shane Booker, executive director of Hamilton County’s EMA. “We went through a very similar situation in 2010 with the H1N1 virus. There were a lot of the same concerns then that there are now. The good news is the H1N1 virus taught us a lot that helps us prepare now.”
Currently there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton County or the State of Indiana. Much is still unknown about how the virus spreads. In the meantime, the Hamilton County Health Department encourages anyone with symptoms of acute respiratory illness to stay home.
“The primary symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath,” says Chris Walker, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Hamilton County Health Department. “To prevent the spread of COVID-19, citizens should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean them often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol. Also consider routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces especially in the workplace.”
Like any business, Hamilton County is working to help reduce transmission among staff and maintain business operations.
“No matter how bad it gets, we want to keep essential functions up and running,” Altman says. “If that means telecommuting or flexible work hours to increase the distance among employees and avoid increased absenteeism, so be it. We’re prepared to do whatever it takes to keep county government operational.”
For more information about COVID-19, the current situation here in Hamilton County, and preventative measures, please check out the Hamilton County Health Department’s website at https://www.hamiltoncounty.in.