City and county officials resumed Emergency Operations meetings on Friday in in response to surging COVID-19 cases throughout the county, Emergency Management Director Tracy Warner said.
The Graves County Health Department announced 50 new cases Friday evening, pushing the county total to 1,528. No new deaths were reported and the number of currently active cases was not immediately available.
The Emergency Operations meetings take place through the Zoom teleconferencing app, and serve as a means for city and county officials to communicate issues arising from the pandemic, including current cases, hospital status and personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We knew back several months ago that the numbers would be rising in the fall, and so we decided that we needed to just get together and just where everybody stands as far as if there’s a PPE shortage, whatever we need to try to do to get more and stuff, and just making sure that all the key players are on the same page,” Warner said.
Earlier in the pandemic, Emergency Operations meetings took place regularly, and included county and city officials like Warner, Fire Chief and EMS Director Jeremy Creason, Mayor Kathy O’Nan, Judge-executive Jesse Perry, and GCHD Director Noel Coplen to name a few.
Though the topic of PPE was a heavily discussed issue in those prior meetings, Creason and Coplen had each recently told the Messenger that there had been no issues ordering PPE for their respective departments.
Friday’s meeting took place the day after Governor Andy Beshear announced new “targeted” restrictions, prompting many businesses to reel, especially restaurants.
O’Nan took to the City Hall Facebook on Thursday to remind the public what is at stake, noting that the COVID-19 virus has taken the lives of “a quarter of a million Americans,” which is close in number to the total of combined American casualties from the Korean War, Vietnam War, and World War I.
“I don’t think there’s a person I’ve ever talked to that enjoys wearing a mask, that enjoys being told how we must celebrate Thanksgiving, or how we must celebrate Christmas, but most of the people I have talked to agree on one thing. We will be so thankful when we can resume our regular lives, but we cannot do that until this virus is under control,” O’Nan said in the video.
The Mayfield Messenger has reached out to Coplen for comment.