Marquette County Emergency Management trying to stay ahead of COVID-19

The governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker, has just announced a disaster proclamation in the state. He said he was formally announcing the proclamation, their "version of a state of emergency." Governor Pritzker announced Monday in a press conference there were four additional cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the total in the state to 11. (MGN Image)

MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette County Emergency Management Coordinator, Teresa Schwalbach says she continues to work closely with the Michigan Emergency Operations Center to provide everyone with resources they need to get through the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've activated our county plan. So, I'm always in contact with everybody from the county to the city to the townships. Just so people know that behind the scenes we are working to help our residents in the county," Schwalbach announced.

Future plans may also include identifying alternate care facilities should area hospitals become overwhelmed, according to Schwalbach.

“We're just thinking ahead with the Army Corps of Engineers and they look ahead to make sure if something gets worse the hospitals may have to use them," Schwalbach asserted.

However, more specific information was not available as of today.

"We're just in talking stages and kind of looking at a few sites that we may be able to use. There's been no agreements nothing has been done. It's just pre-planning and thinking ahead," Schwalbach clarified.

Meanwhile, personal protective equipment for front line healthcare workers and first responders is trickling in.

"What we've received so far is a shipment of gloves. But that's not to say that we won't be getting more," Schwalbach reasoned.

Meanwhile, requests for various supplies around the entire Upper Peninsula are waiting for fulfillment.

"We're requesting gowns, face shields, N95 masks and thermometers. We're requesting those supplies for not only the health agencies but also law enforcement and fire department, EMS, agencies and nursing homes," Schwalbach declared.

Ed Unger, Region 8 Healthcare Coalition Coordinator is confident that each Upper Michigan county has enough ventilators but fell short of sharing specific data.

"I don't feel comfortable giving out that number but I will say we have a sufficient amount for our staffing needs at the moment and for our projected views," Unger stated.

Unger says that projection only works if every Upper Michigan resident continues to heed CDC, state and national safety guidelines.
"Stay home, stay safe. Wash your hands frequently. Do not touch your face is probably the biggest word of the day," Unger recommended.