Montrose, CO— On March 16, the Montrose Emergency Operations Center opened to support the county’s response to the COVID-19 situation impacting the western slope and Montrose County. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is open to support a unified command effort led by Montrose County Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Gallegos and Montrose County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Manager Scott Hawkins.
“Surrounding counties have presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, and we are doing our best to take preventative measures to limit the impact that this could have on Montrose County. As of right now, there are no current cases in Montrose County and we want to limit this virus’ ability to spread,” said Commissioner Keith Caddy. “We are asking the public to join us in this aggressive approach by practicing social distancing, washing hands, and treating each other with kindness and respect.”
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the hub of coordination and support for incident management activities. Additional, the EOC will house the Montrose County COVID-19 call center. The Montrose County EOC adheres to Incident Management System (IMS) response; this is a temporary, formal organizational structure that is activated to support a response, adjusted to meet the rapidly changing demands on that response, and then scaled back and closed as needed at the end of the response.
“Rest assured, the county and partners train together year-round with the incident management system to support a response of this magnitude,” said Emergency Manager Scott Hawkins. “The opening of the EOC allows the county to better plan and access resources. This is a coordinated effort, and bringing all the players together streamlines processes.”
“This is a time for community,” said Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Gallegos. “And this is when our community shines. I know people are worried, but know that we are here for you. We are a part of your community and will do our very best to protect the community we all love.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider by phone first. The provider will be able to determine if you meet the criteria necessary for the test and often will be able to perform the test at their practice. If you do not have a primary care provider, please reach out to to Public Information line at 970-252-4545 and press option "2" to be connected with public health. The call center will be able to determine if you meet the criteria for a test and can direct you to resources at that time. Please note that calls will be answered from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday. For calls outside of that time frame, please reach out to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for general questions regarding COVID-19 at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, for answers in many languages, or email them at COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English. The state hotline cannot provide testing results, order testing, or clear individuals for work. Please remember, 911 should be used for medical emergencies only. For updates on COVID-19, please visit montrosecounty.net/covid19 or https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus.