There are still no confirmed cases in Graves County, but local officials are continuing to be proactive and not reactive.
Representatives from Graves County and Mayfield governments, Mayfield Police and Fire departments, Graves County Sheriff’s Office, Graves County Health Department, and Graves County Emergency Management updated information Monday and Tuesday at their Emergency Operating Center (EOC) at CFSB’s Mayfield branch.
Tuesday’s meeting featured video conferencing by MFD, MPD, Judge-Executive Jesse Perry and Mayor Kathy O’Nan. At the EOC were health department director Noel Coplen, Emergency Management Director Tracy Warner, an EM deputy, and The Mayfield Messenger.
Coplen expressed interest in looking for people to possibly make face shields and face masks. While in contact with health department officials in Todd County, they told Coplen that a vocational school was making face shields, and that some senior citizens were making face masks.
If anyone wishes to offer their services they may contact Warner at 270-727-5114 or at email@example.com.
Coplen also said that cellphone stores and providers are considered essential businesses and can remain open; however urged employees and customers need to practice social distancing or the health department could request their closure.
He did express his gratitude to those who self-quarantined or closed their businesses in an effort to stave off the spread of the virus.
“I want to thank people for making such a sacrifice for the sake of us all,” Coplen said.
At Monday’s meeting, he said even though the coronavirus is seemingly not here, people should approach every person-to-person encounter like it’s there.
“We just need everybody to stay away from each other and treat everyone line they have the virus,” Coplen said.
He stressed that just because someone isn’t over 60 years old, it doesn’t mean they don’t have a chronic health issue that makes them vulnerable to the coronavirus.
The newly established call center has received several calls from citizens and businesses since its inception on Thursday. Coplen said most of the incoming calls were from people desiring COVID-19 tests but none of the callers met the criteria for coronavirus testing.
Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden said they’d seen an uptick in complaint calls for some businesses remaining open. Coplen said the health department would call these establishments soon to stress the importance of curtailing such behavior that could negatively affect residents of Graves County.
He also said that the health department plans to approach people with marquee signs to put up good positive messaging about personal care, such as washing hands.
Mayfield Fire Chief Jeremy Creason said at the meeting that EMS had been approved for telemedicine. Telemedicine is two-way communication between the site and doctor to more quickly render much needed aid. This in turn, Creason said, could potentially help protect healthcare professionals from the potential spread of COVID-19.
He also pointed out that this situation is not comparable to other incidents in history.
Unlike disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes, which are more localized, the coronavirus is affecting everyone across the nation. He said that Graves County should not expect much in terms of aid from the U.S. government, and that the locality needs to find local solutions.
Warner reported she has ordered 500 MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) and she and her three deputies are also accepting calls (270-727-5114) from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for anyone who needs assistance after being negatively affected by the coronavirus. They will direct callers to necessary services.
For questions concerning the coronavirus itself, people may contact the call center (270-247-3553) from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.