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Tippin: It's just a matter of time - Odessa American: News

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Tippin: It's just a matter of time

Coronavirus preparation meeting held at MCH

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Posted: Monday, March 2, 2020 4:39 pm

Medical Center Hospital was the site of a meeting between city, education and health officials to discuss preparations for coronavirus protocol and how to relay accurate information to Odessans about the virus.

President and CEO of MCHS Russell Tippin opened the meeting thanking community members for attending and said that it’s just a matter of time until the virus will reach the area due to the amount of people that travel through the Permian Basin.

Tippin said Monday’s roundtable dialogue would help begin a plan of action for when the first case shows up and that the transparency of local leaders and entities could prevent hysteria.

Tippin said that the best way to avoid panic is to communicate and to spread the facts.

Attendees were given a printed packet of Centers for Disease Control and prevention coronavirus information. MCH Chief Nursing Officer Christin Timmons stood in front of community leaders and asked them what kind of questions they have and what the communication plan would be between city entities and residents.

“The education is going to be key for people,” she said especially among those that either diagnose patients or who come into contact with patients.

Timmons rolled out a white board for attendees and said that the protocol for health officials is to ask a set of questions specific to the illness and to know certain signs and symptoms of the coronavirus which is very similar to the common flu.

“We do a great job as far as emergency preparedness goes,” she said. “I do think that our Ector County community is a step above where maybe some other communities aren’t,” she said.

Some of the ideas that community members came up with were having a set place for coronavirus screening and a set place for information. Timmons talked about the importance of consistent protocol from hospitals, schools or in the jails for those who may be sick. She relayed that it was important for all of the entities to communicate in the same way and to notify each other if a case occurred.

“At this point we’re following the CDC recommendations,” Timmons said. Attendees agreed that to stay on the same page that schools, law enforcement and hospital officials would stay in contact with each other and city officials.

The MCH website states that if patients think they are sick with the coronavirus they should call before they go to the doctor’s office or emergency room and tell them about their symptoms or if they have recently traveled.

Tippin said that the communication starts at home and stressed that people should use good hygiene, wash their hands and not panic.

“It’s on its way and when our first case gets here,” he said. “It’s OK. Between the entities in this town, we’re all gonna take care of ya. We’re gonna get it managed and we’re gonna be on top of it.”

People who want more information regarding the coronavirus can go to the Medical Center Health System website at https://tinyurl.com/trylzyt.

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Odessa, TX

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