GALLIPOLIS — Area emergency and health workers attended or called into a meeting in the Gallia 911 Communications Center basement Wednesday morning to discuss ongoing updates with issues surrounding the COVID-19 Ohio outbreak.
According to Gallia Emergency Management Agency and Gallia 911 Director Sherry Daines, Gallia’s 911 system has been experiencing an influx of calls mostly related to asking questions about the COVID-19 virus of which were being directed to healthcare professionals.
The Gallia EMA is currently also looking for donations of personal protective equipment to be handed to medical professionals on the frontline facing COVID-19. The agency is looking for sterile and non-sterile gloves in unopened boxes, latex-free preferred. They are also looking for eye protection and goggles in unused boxes or wrappers, surgical masks in tie and ear loop styles in unopened boxes. Respirator masks of the N95 variety are requested in all sizes in unopened boxes. Unused disposable isolation gowns are also welcome. Currently, no cloth or homemade masks are being accepted.
Those interested and able to contribute can contact the agency at 740-441-2036 to schedule a drop off.
According to Gallia Health Department Representative Tyler Schweickart, the health department has been fielding calls and questions about whether specific businesses are considered essential or not essential in accordance with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s closure orders. The department is working on clarifying definitions from the state of what is or is not considered essential.
“We are trying to help as many businesses as possible to make sure they can remain open at this point but also protect the public’s health,” said Schweickart.
Schweickart said the health department was also managing supplies of personal protective equipment to be dispensed to medical personnel in coordination with the emergency management agency.
The health department also continues to follow investigations into whether isolation protocols need enacted with suspected COVID-19 patients.
Gallia-Meigs Ohio State Highway Patrol Post Commander Lt. Barry Call called in to offer trooper assistance with local needs should they be requested.
Dean Wright is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing and can be reached