MOUNT VERNON — Improving public health and providing a variety of services has always been the focus of the Knox County Health Department. Measures will soon be taking place to allow the health department to do so under extenuating circumstances.
In preparing for a worst-case scenario through the loss of facility services, the Knox County Board of Health recently approved the use of alternate sites in the case of disaster/emergency situations at the health department. Knox County Health Commissioner Julie Miller explained there were two types of facility agreements recently approved. The first is use of an alternate site to carry out daily duties by health department staff. “The alternate site piece is just a part of preparedness policy and procedures,” said Miller. “If something were to happen to this facility, where do we go and what do we do?”
The second component focuses on the ability to conduct mass medication dispensing if the need would arise. An assessment was conducted to identify the needs the health department would require when operating at an alternate site. Agreements reached for these services were made with the Fredericktown Police Department, Clinton Township House and Pleasant Township House. “We wanted to have these close to the city but out of the city as well,” said Miller. Location, size and public accommodations were all taken into consideration when selecting the alternate sites.
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