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County EOC established to address COVID-19 concerns

On Sunday, March 22, Mower County officials established the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to centralize the county’s planning and response to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, EOC Manager David Pike, Mower County Emergency Manager Amy Lammey and Mower County Health and Human Services Division Manager Pam Kellogg held a press conference to provide more information.

“We have assembled the resources to address the growing concern of COVID 19,” Lammey said. “It is a very fluid situation and changes very quickly.”

“In the Emergency Operation Center, we monitor the activities of the Federal, State and local partners to keep a clear picture of what is happening,” she continued. “It is also very important to communicate with the responders, volunteer fire departments, and law enforcement for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”

The Mower County Department of Health and Human services has been working with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in getting the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the county, according to Kellogg.

“Of the 10 cases (in Mower County), nine are isolating at home and one is hospitalized here in Austin,” Kellogg said. She noted that once a case is confirmed, the MDH conducts a lengthy interview with that person to try and determine where it was contracted as well as find out who the individual has been in contact with recently. Anyone identified as a contact is notified, though they are not told to get tested.

Lammey added that Mayo Clinic has set up protocol for those who may be showing symptoms and determines whether or not they need to test.

When asked about supplies, Lammey said that volunteer fire departments throughout the county have requested PPEs.

“Currently, we’re feeling comfortable with the supplies we have, but we’re looking at additional resources to bring to the county,” she said.

She also noted that it appears Mower County residents are abiding by the stay at home order and that the call volume to the Mower County Law Enforcement Center and the number of calls for ambulances has been down as of late.

“The EOC asks that each Mower County Resident check in on their neighbors and family while maintaining social distancing,” Lammey said. “If someone is in need of assistance, please email em@co.mower.mn.us.”