• 57°

Behind the scenes: Group gathering to discuss emergency plans amid coronavirus outbreak

By Shavonne Potts

shavonne.potts@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Since early February, the Rowan County Health Department and Emergency Management Division have been monitoring the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, the agencies gathered to discuss its operational plans and logistics as the county saw its first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The collaboration brings together emergency medical services, fire, emergency management services and health department leaders in a unified command structure to determine the latest as the concerns amid the outbreak grows.

“The command system was created by FEMA. Pretty much everyone in the nation is doing this exact process, the exact same way. So that makes it easier for us to work with neighboring counties,” said Rowan County EMS Capt. Chris Lambert.

The group creates what’s called an incident action plan, which is a similar structure that communities are conducting throughout the nation.

“Today was the first day of a new IAP that we built yesterday that will run through Monday. At the end of the continual planning process, we do an operational briefing,” Lambert said.

The plan brings key players in the different agencies together to discuss what will occur within the next several days. The plan includes objectives established by the incident commander and strategies on how to carry out the plan if there should be a positive COVID-19 case in Rowan County, the first of which was announced Thursday.

“It just allows us all to be on the same page to make sure we are operating the same for the next couple of days,” Lambert said.

As planning section chief, Lambert’s job is to begin working on the next action plan that is expected to start this coming Monday.

“So once the planning process is over, we had the plan created; we start working with that plan. The planning process starts back over and we start working toward the next,” he said.

The plan period depends on the incident. An active incident — a train derailment, for example — could take 12 hours to follow through.

“We are doing everything we can to keep people safe,” Lambert said.

He encouraged people to listen to guidance from federal, state and local partners.

Comments

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransom

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday