U.S. health officials are now saying the coronavirus may likely cause a global pandemic, saying it is just matter of time before the outbreak spreads tot he United States.
SO far, there have been nearly 60 reported cases in the country. What are local schools, hospitals, and county organizations doing to prepare in case of an outbreak?
The C.D.C. says the spread of coronavirus in the country is not a matter of if, but when, saying the disruption to everyday life could be severe.
“I don’t know what to think. It’s scary. I’m sure everybody is feeling a little bit like ‘what is going on,'” said Ted McNeal, Erie resident.
Saint Vincent Hospital has a plan in place if someone walks in with coronavirus symptoms.
“We have to screen them and if they screen positive, if they have been out of the country or close to someone that has been infected, we have a special room that is a negative pressure room that we would take them into,” said Paula Cosner, Emergency Manger, Saint Vincent Hospital.
General McLane School District Superintendent Richard Scaletta says it is to early to panic, but never to early to plan.
“Essentially, we will lean on the county Department of Health or the state Department of Health to make any decision should the outbreak get serious,” said Richard Scaletta, General McLane School District Superintendent.
Erie County Emergency Management also has a plan in place. If there is a flood or tornado, they take the lead. But with a pandemic, they would support and follow the lead of the health department.
“If they would need GIS mapping or something like that we could support them in that. Situational awareness, trying to gather information we would try to do that; planning, stuff like that. Logistics is the biggest role that we would help them in,” said Dale Robinson, Erie County Emergency Management.
Emergency Management worked with the health department during the swine flu pandemic.
We also talked to Millcreek School District. They tell us they had a meeting with emergency management and school nurses to review their policies and revisions.