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Garfield County one of two Washington counties with zero COVID-19 diagnoses


April 9, 2020

POMEROY-Garfield County Public Health (GCPH) tested ten suspected cases of COVID–19 locally with ten returned negative as of April 6. To date there have been no positive tests in the county.

The Garfield County Health District has been given funds to locate and provide appropriate housing for anyone needing to be quarantined. John Hirsch, Emergency Management Services Director, and Martha Lanman, Garfield County Health District Administrator, are working together on the housing issue. So far, quarantined housing has not been required, but GCPH continues to make the necessary preparations. The Forest Service has offered their bunkhouse as housing if needed.

Garfield County has encountered difficulty getting personal protection equipment (PPE), such as masks, from State and Federal sources. Supplies provided by the government are allocated to areas of greatest need, of which Garfield County is not considered, so attempts have been made to locate other sources. Sheriff Drew Hyer has discovered a location to order supplies and has obtained six gallons of liquid hand sanitizer which was air lifted by the Civil Air Patrol at no charge. He shared the newly acquired supply with Public Works and other County departments. He also found a few masks used to handle drugs, stored at the Sheriff’s office, but only a few.

Commissioner Bob Johnson asked Hyer if anyone was making cloth masks, but Hyer stated that the cloth masks are not effective enough. He added that he has found a source for “shield masks” specific to their needs with a minimum quantity beyond their need. Hyer will contact the Health District, Fire District, and other local entities to help fulfill the order requirement.


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