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EMA gives out N95 masks, face shield

HUGULEY — On Friday, Jessica Yeager and Tabitha Holladay of the Chambers County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) had a busy afternoon distributing vitally needed personal protective equipment (PPEs) to nursing homes and EMS services throughout the county.

The equipment being distributed included the highly regarded N95 masks and face shields.

Yeager and Holladay made trips to Diversicare in Lanett, the EAMC-Lanier Nursing Home in Valley, the LaFayette Nursing Home and LaFayette Extended Care. They’ve also provided equipment to Lanett Fire & EMS, East Alabama EMS in Valley and to the LaFayette EMS.

Yeager, the county’s EMA director, said the entire staff had been doing some incredible work under very difficult conditions.

“It’s not just the dispatchers who have been working around the clock, but Tabitha, Kathy Hornsby and Darlene Billingsley and I have been doing everything in our power, at all hours of the day and night, to make sure our citizens remain informed of the latest developments of how COVID-19 is affecting Chambers County.”

Yeager said she wanted everyone to know that their local first responders and nursing home staffs would have adequate PPE supplies to be ready as this deadly virus continues to spread.

“As we continue to monitor the weather and carry on with our day-to-day operations, we will be deploying requested equipment, assets and personnel for critical missions. Is it exhausting? Yes, but you are worth it,” Yeager said. “We are here for you and for all our precious residents of Chambers County. Do not hesitate to call me any time if you have questions or concerns. I know that many of you have my direct number but in case you don’t, you may call me at (706) 518-6649.”

Yeager admits that she did not at first think that COVID-19 would turn out to be the public health threat it has become.

“I think we all had some degree of skepticism when we first learned about this coronavirus, or COVID-19,” she said. “But it has since proven to be a deadly disease right here in our own communities.”

Kathy Hornsby has designed an informational flyer about COVID-19 and what Chambers County residents can do to combat it. Copies will soon be distributed locally.

The flyer offers tips on practicing good hygiene (frequent hand washing and using hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face, staying away from crowds, sneeze into or tissue or inside your elbow, maintain the six-foot social distancing rule, etc.), and what to do if they have a fever of 101.5 or higher, an unrelenting cough and shortness of breath (call your doctor or (334) 528-SICK.)

“Monitor your symptoms,” the flyer reads. “If you develop emergency warning signs of COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face.”