As with many government entities, the Jackson County Commission discussed in detail the county’s plans to address the COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus.

Both Tory Bain, director of the county’s EMS services and Amy Haskins from the Jackson County Health Department were on hand to answer questions.

Haskins informed Commissioners that a pandemic planning committee will be meeting to formalize plans.

“We’ve had a committee for quite some time,” she said. “We haven’t had to meet because situations haven’t arisen, but we are prepared to get a plan in place.”

Emergency medical service directors from across the state met in Flatwoods recently according to Bain. Discussions of how EMS personnel will handle cases as they arise were held.

“We are also in contact with the Center for Disease Control and will follow their protocol,” said Bain. “We have a conference every day at noon with them.”

When asked by Commissioner Mike Randolph what is being done to communicate with the citizens, Haskins said there were plans to do a Facebook live broadcast.

“We will answer a lot of questions and disseminate facts about this situation,” she said. “We hope to do it in conjunction with Jackson General Hospital.”

One of the main points both Bain and Haskins stressed was to call ahead if planning to visit a health care provider regarding any symptoms of the virus a person may be experiencing.

“Give them warning of what you might suspect,” said Haskins. “If you have to call emergency services, warn them as well so they will know how to handle the situation. Most importantly, wash your hands, keep them away from your face, and be aware if you come in contact with someone who has traveled abroad or to states with the virus.”

Bain also gave the monthly update for the Emergency Medical Services, including the annual inspection by the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services.

“We received the highest points we could possibly receive,” said Bain. “We earned 150/155 points. The only reason we didn’t get those five points is that we’re not a certified training center.”

Bain also noted a commendation received from the Bureau of Health Office of Medical Services.

“Three of our staff worked with a 61-year-old female who was in severe respiratory arrest,” he said. “Their efforts brought her back and we received a notice praising their teamwork and perseverance. So I would like to recognize Makiah Ratliff, Joey Kent, and Ashley Davis Hart for their extraordinary efforts.”

In other business, Commissioners:

• Approved fiduciary paperwork for the estates of Jeffery Alan Deem and Rita Lea Jones

• Approved and executed the revised Jackson County Community Foundation spring 2020 grant application for playground equipment for the Rocky Knob Community Building in the amount of $4,853

• Approved pay application #1 in the amount of $72,000 on the Jackson County courthouse electrical project

• Approved the hiring of Amy Rose as a part-time employee for the County Clerk’s office effective March 16, 2020.

• Learned 911 received 377 calls in February.

After a 58-minute closed door executive session to discuss the CARA Grant Quick Response Team Coordinator position, the commission adjourned with no further action.

The next meeting of the Jackson County Commission will be at 9:30 a.m. on March 18 at the Jackson County courthouse.