Local COVID call center set up

Though there are no cases locally, Graves County Health Department Director Noel Coplen addressed stakeholders gathered Thursday to address them on efforts to combat and communicate information about the COVID-19 coronavirus.

There are still no confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases here, but the Graves County Health Department has proactively established a call center for anything related to the disease.

The information was shared at a stakeholder’s meeting Thursday at the department to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number for the call center is 270-247-3553. Citizens are encouraged to utilize it whether they’re sick, might be sick, or simply even just have questions.

GCHD Director Noel Coplen said even if someone simply suspects they have coronavirus, they should call the number first. Those working the call center include Lauren Carr, Lisa Davis, Amanda Duke, Kathy Gifford, Dawn Hopwood, Leslie Nolin, Dianna Smith, Alichia Thompson, Rita Thorn, and Riley Willet.

Duke said they are all trained to answer any COVID-19 questions and will get updated as information comes through webinars and conferences. And if they can’t answer someone’s questions, she said they know where to send them.

At this time, the call center is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., but if a coronavirus case should appear in Graves County the hours may be extended.

She said if callers are asked questions by staff, they need to “answer honestly.”

Coplen said should anyone wish to see their doctor, they need to call the office of their healthcare provider first before showing up to their office. He said that Graves County can’t afford to have the hospitals and doctor’s offices overwhelmed, or worse have their staff contract an illness.

Hospitals still need to care for broken legs and heart attacks, so they need beds for them too, he said.

Jackson Purchase Medical Center currently has a zero visitor policy.

This comes on the heels of the state of emergency recently declared by Mayfield Mayor O’Nan and Graves County Judge-Executive Jesse Perry.

Mayfield Fire Chief Jeremy Creason said at the meeting that Fire Station 2 has been closed and is being utilized strictly as a decontamination facility should firefighters need to clean supplies or change uniforms. No one is staffed there for the time being.

“We’re trying to be as proactive as possible,” Creason said at the meeting.

He asked for patience in this crisis, as he expressed concern over the virus’s effects in the coming weeks.

“I think it’s going to get worse,” Creason said. “I think we’re just scratching the surface.”

Mayfield Police Department has also ceased all lobby service as of Wednesday. Citizens seeking assistance are asked to utilize the black phone located on the shelf at the records office window. The phone is a direct line to KSP dispatch and they will send a MPD officer for assistance.

Anyone wishing to speak with detectives, Alcohol Beverage Control, Chief’s office, or make a non-emergency call should dial 270-247-1621. For all emergency calls, phone 911.

Coplen said Graves County must to do its part and take care of themselves by practicing social distancing and good hygiene. He said a lot of people have lost their jobs this past week as a result of the disease and by trying to mitigate potential exposures, and Graves County needs to do what’s right by them.

“We as a group need to make sure they didn’t sacrifice in vain,” he said.