Scioto County EMA prepared for COVID-19 resurge

By Darian Gillette - For the Portsmouth Daily Times

Although Scioto County has kept a low number of COVID-19 cases, the Scioto County Emergency Management has been staying on top of things to ensure safety in the community.

“It’s been very interesting and engaging but has also been a lot of work,” said Larry Mullins, Deputy Director.

The Scioto County EMA spent a lot of time preparing for COVID-19 before the virus even hit Scioto County. Mullins shared Scioto County EMA started early preparing the community by trying to get information out to the public on what they could do to stay safe and by following the orders of Governor Mike DeWine and former Director of the Ohio Department of Health Amy Acton.

“Right before it took hold, we started practicing safety precautions and how to respond,” said Mullins. “Our biggest mission is to get PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for health care workers.”

Mullins explained at first supplies were very slim and were being primarily given to first responders, but supplies soon started going out to nursing homes, doctors and other health care workers.

There has been a total of 21 positive COVID-19 cases in Scioto County, ages ranging from 19-81, and 17 of which have recovered.

“We have been very fortunate no one has died,” said Mullins. “It has calmed down quite a bit in the past three weeks as we prepared to reopen businesses.”

Mullins said with testing becoming more accessible, he believes the amount of cases is likely to rise. Starting on the June 24 pop up testing will be offered, and the test will no longer have to be sent off to get the results, making the wait for results shorter. Pop up testing will take place at Compass Community Health Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 24.

“People should expect the number of cases to go up, but in the long run, they will go down,” said Mullins. “Now that testing is ramping up, we will be able to quarantine quicker and limit the spread in our area by doing so.”

Mullins believes Scioto County has done a good job at taking the pandemic seriously and has taken many of the proper precautions such as wearing masks and frequent handwashing but feels people have begun to let their guard down.

“We haven’t really had a surge,” said Mullins. “The first case was around April 6 and we have not seen more than two cases per day, so luckily Scioto County has not been as bad as it could be.”

By Darian Gillette

For the Portsmouth Daily Times