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Commission honors EMTs

No increase in COVID-19 cases this week

At their May 19 meeting, the Lawrence County Commissioners discussed EMTs and how the county is doing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The commissioners livestreamed their meeting from the county’s Joint Response Operations Center in Coal Grove, since the meeting room is large enough for a limited number of county to be there and still maintain social distancing.

One of the items on the agenda was proclaiming May 17-May 23, 2020 as EMS Week in Lawrence County, with the theme of “EMS Strong, Ready for Today and Preparing for Tomorrow.”

“We are very proud of our EMS and all the services they deliver to our citizens,” said commission president DeAnna Holliday. “I want to take every chance I get to recognize we have an award-winning EMS team. That is not something that is handed out easily, you have to earn those certifications.”

Lawrence County EMS has won the American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline Gold Plus Award several years in a row. The Gold Plus Award is given to EMS agencies that implement the quality of care and outcomes provided for the most serious types of heart attack. Last year, they were one of 99 EMS agencies to get the award in Ohio.

Lawrence County Health Department director Georgia Dillon reported that Lawrence County is still at 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases with all of them out of isolation. She said four cases required brief hospitalizations.

She said that last week, the health department was looking at three contacts they though would be positive, but on Monday, they found out that all three were negative for the coronavirus. This week, they have another case that might be positive, but haven’t got test results back yet.

“So, I think that Lawrence County is doing very well and I am thankful for that,” Dillon said.

She said reminded people that as restaurants and bars reopen for inside dining that it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure patrons are social distancing as required by the state and the employees are wearing masks.

“We encourage Lawrence County citizens to wear face coverings,” she said.

She said there was a new guidance from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office that patrons have to be seated.

She said that there has been much discussion about personal responsibility and that if someone is closer than six feet away, “it is your responsibility to move. We are thinking the numbers will go up. So, we hope that people would take responsibility.”

On the subject of the Memorial Day parade, she is grateful for the 152 years the parade has run and that from her grandfather to her son, her family has served in the U.S. Navy and added that the annual Ironton-Lawrence Memorial Day parade is about honoring veterans and those still serving in the military.

“This year, please do not come,” she said. The parade route will be blocked to the public. “I hope people will respect that.

Mike Boster, director of Lawrence County’s EMA, gave a brief report and reminded people that Ohio and the nation is still under a state of emergency due to the pandemic.

“So, we urge, as Georgia mentioned, personal responsibility. As the county opens up and there is better weather, people will want to gather, let’s use some common sense and keep one another safe as much as possible,” he said.

Boster said they continue to monitor personal protection equipment (PPE) needs for public employees and agencies around the county.

“We are receiving and inventorying, two or three times a week, personal protection equipment that is being provided by the state of Ohio and making determinations how that is going to be distributed and how set to agencies on a priority basis,” he said.

During commisioners’ reports, Freddie Hayes Jr. commended people for how they have handled the coronavirus pandemic.

“It has been a different world for the last few months for all of us,” he said. “But I do think it is going to make a lot of us more humble and appreciate more.”

The commissioners will not meet for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday. The next meeting will be 10 a.m. on June 2.

Their meetings are closed to the public, but can be viewed at www.facebook.com/ohioslcc/.