WHITE COUNTY, Ga. — In an effort to guard against the potential spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, White County Emergency Management Agency has released new operating guidelines that restrict access to emergency services and fire stations. The guidelines also implement a screening process for anyone seeking emergency medical help.
According to the new guidelines, only essential personnel are now allowed into fire and EMS stations. No visitors are allowed. In addition, walk-in/drive up patients who may be experiencing a medical emergency will be required to return to their vehicle, call 911 and go through the screening process that all 911 callers are required to do.
Once the screening process is completed, and if the individual is experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19/Coronavirus, station personnel will be able to don the proper Personal Protective Equipment and make contact with the individual. Personnel will also provide a proper “Mask” for the individual to put on, which will protect both the individual and the emergency personnel.
White County Public Safety Director David Murphy says the new guidelines are necessary to protect the county’s emergency staff and facilities from potential exposure to COVID-19, thus preserving their ability to serve others in the White County community. “Our employees are our top priority,” Murphy says. “We need to keep them safe so we can assure the help to our citizens in the event of emergencies.”
Additionally, White County EMS is limiting ambulance rides to patients and one family member only. Family members will be required to wear a mask during transport to the hospital. Once at the hospital the family member will be taken to the registration area until cleared to reunite with the patient by emergency department personnel.
Notices about the new guidelines are posted at the entries of each White County fire station and EMS facilities.
Murphy says other modifications and updates to guidelines will be implemented as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. “The situation is rapidly changing but we will continue to make decisions to provide the best protection we can for our employees and the White County community.”
For more information concerning this press release contact the White County Emergency Management Agency at 706-865-9500.