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COVID 1 year

WEB EXTRA: COVID-19 the year in review with ICPHD

Public health officials share the experience of the start of the pandemic, and what's expected to come - CBS 13's Mercedes Martinez reports.

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - The Director of the Imperial County Public Health Department, Janette Angulo, takes us back into a one-year review against the COVID-19 battle in the Desert Southwest.

Angulo said officials started monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak as soon as they heard of the first case abroad in December 2019.

According to Angulo, the initial response group came together in January 2019, including a health officer, epidemiology, emergency management service, and other key management staff.

Small teams were formed for the needed interventions but then knew it would not be enough to deal with what was ahead. ICPHD tapped into state and federal resources and, as a result, received help from personnel to help with tasks in different needed areas.

She adds ICPHD enhanced its systems and increased its workforce to better attend to the community's needs.

Although the vaccine supply has been limited, it continues doing what it can with what they can. Close to 32,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Imperial county residents, and 8,500 individuals have been fully vaccinated.

Angulo said ICPHD would be better prepared if there was another surge, as they have learned a lot through this pandemic.

“There were a lot of lessons learned,” said Angulo. She explains that there is a science and public health-based response that needs to be communicated very clearly at all levels. Angulo said the last thing you want to have is confusion within the community during a pandemic. 

Angulo also said that leadership and partnership are essential during very stressful and uncertain times. “This is not really a lesson learned. Imperial County is very resilient, and we know how to adapt to the situation.”

Angulo said that even if vaccines are already here and are an effective tool to help us get out of this pandemic, precaution should still be taken in public places.

Author Profile Photo

Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez joined the KSWT team as anchor/producer in October 2020. You can catch her on 13 On Your Side at 4:00pm.

Mercedes was born in San Diego and raised in the border-town of Calexico, California. She is an Imperial Valley native and definitely no stranger to Yuma county.

Mercedes began her journalism career at San Jose State University as she was a part of their campus newscast that aired every Friday, joined “El Espartano Noticias,” and was an on-air talent for the San Jose Film Festival in 2017. Her highlight during that time was the opportunity to interview actress, Jane Lynch.

Mercedes then continued her journey to CSU Sacramento and received her B.A in Journalism and minor in Communication Studies. She did an internship with Telemundo in Sacramento, which allowed her to gain experience and build relationships.

Mercedes believes that everyone has a story and should use their voice to tell it and inspire others.

Outside of work, Mercedes spends time with her friends and family. She is passionate about cooking, baking, traveling, playing guitar and writing songs.

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