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.