Winston County Supervisors appoint COVID-19 Medical Director to pandemic team

By FROM STAFF AND PRESS REPORTS,

In the March 23, Winston County Board of Supervisors meeting, Winston County Emergency Management Director Buddy King requested the board appoint a county medical director to go along with the already instituted pandemic play.

Winston County put in place its pandemic plan On March 12 the day after the national emergency declaration was made and the WinstonCounty Board of Supervisors approved its emergency declaration on March 16.

“ I can proudly say that the current team is made completely of Winston County residents and was working together on this event within 20 hours of the President of the United States declaring a disaster,” said King.

The board approved Dr. Dustin Gentry as the Winston County Medical Director.

King noted Gentry  had already been part of the Incident Management Team along with others in the community.

“Dr. Gentry has already been working hard to keep us all informed of the latest and best efforts we can take as responsible members of our community. He now will also consult with all the medical providers of our county and guide the Incident Management Team in the best direction.

King explained that the pandemic plan and brought together as part of the incident management team county, city, town leaders along with citizens to become an effective team,” said King.

The Incident Management Team now consists of 14 people working together daily to seek out advice, resources, supplies, and advice to assist the elected officials with a plan for this pandemic.

King noted that Winston County was uniquely ready for crisis.

“The last time we had an IMT was when we were struck by an EF-4 tornado in April of 2014, 6 years ago next month,” said King. “Our people know how to operate through a crisis,” he added.

The team consists of employees of Winston County, the City of Louisville, Winston Medical Center and local volunteers who have received training from MEMA and serve as MEMA disaster reservist.

“The level of training and experience of this team is unparalleled anywhere in the State of Mississippi, and they are working for you,” said King. “We are working ahead of most countians.”

The Supervisors also reviewed how the county was tracking any emergency expenditures and the best procedures to follow to insure reimbursement for the expenses.

The Supervisors also requested to see how much bulletproof glass or other materials would be for each of the county offices after Chancery Judge Charlie Smith was shot outside the courthouse in Meridian.

The supervisors held the meeting in the Chancery Courtroom in order to follow CDC social Distancing policies and restricted attendance so that only 10 persons were gathered.

The supeervisors also  noted the increase in calls to the sheriff’s office.

King had noted that tthey were working on all deputies have proper personal protection equipment.

In an interview with other media, Chief deputy Keith Alexander said deputies are also using hand sanitizer more frequently, as well as wearing safety gloves.

“We will respond to calls like we always do, if you can call it in and say hey, get a deputy to call us because we need to talk to a deputy, do that, if not we will still respond to your house and we will treat you with all respect and keep doing what we always do,” said Alexander. “We’re here for the public and we’re going to keep you are safe and we want you to keep us safe.”