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Crook County plans full-scale infectious disease drill


On Tuesday, June 4, the Crook County Health Department is conducting a full-scale, county-wide exercise to simulate the potential spread of an infectious disease such as plague. The simulation shows that no one has been immunized for this disease and the agency needs to distribute as much medication as it can in a 4-hour period.

This exercise, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Crook County Fairgrounds, f ollows a statewide disaster exercise in early May that practiced the ordering and receiving of mass quantities of medications to our respective counties across the state.

The focus of the Crook County exercise is to quickly get antibiotics into the community to treat people and prevent the disease’s spread. No actual medication will be distributed. Instead, the Health Department will have a gift bag for the first 1,000 adults and the first 500 youth who come through the exercise, that contains general information and an emergency preparedness item.

Each participant also is eligible to enter a drawing for a three-day emergency backpack. You must come through the exercise to be eligible for the gift and to enter the drawing.

The exercise will simulate the county’s response to the release of plague, and how medications and medical supplies — known as “medical countermeasures” are requested, received, distributed and dispensed into the community.

Crook County has chosen to do a drive-through POD (Point of Dispensing) and have people drive through medical stations and receive their simulated medications (gift bags). Walk-ups are also welcome to participate.

The Health Department is encouraging city and county departments to allow their staff time away to participate as well as having high school students visit over their lunch time.

“It is vital that we have as much participation as possible to practice for a real situation,” said Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Vicky Ryan.

Public health crisis exercises such as this full-scale exercise train and keep the skills of staff and partners fresh. Ryan said they need to be ready to keep people in Crook County healthy through a coordinated response in the event this became real.

While the potential for this scenario is real, the likelihood is low. It is also important for people to remember that this is only an exercise . There is no need to call 911 for exercise-related activities in your area.

Partners in Crook County that are participating:

St. Charles Prineville

Crook County Emergency Management

Crook County Fire and Rescue

Regency Prineville

Mosaic Medical

Lutheran Community Services NW

Partners in Care

Prineville Police Department

Jefferson County Health Dept

Crook County Health Dept

Other support agencies

For more information, contact the Health Department’s main office at 541-447-5165

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