In concert with Denton County Public Health (DCPH), City of The Colony emergency management and public safety officials have been closing monitoring developments related to COVID-19, aka the coronavirus.
As a matter of routine, city officials are receiving the latest information from state and federal agencies regarding the spread of the virus, as well as preparedness guidelines. Denton County Public Health is the city’s official health monitoring agency, as designated by The Colony City Council. DCPH has long-established protocols in the event of epidemics, real or potential, such as the 2014 Ebola scare in DFW.
“We have protocols in place for health events such as these,” said Troy Powell, The Colony City Manager. “The last time they were used was during the Ebola scare, but we are constantly updating and training for them. We also work closely with Denton County agencies, which handle coordination with state and federal authorities, and help coordinate all the cities in our county so there is a unified process.”
DCPH is in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is notified when/if anyone from an infected region comes into the county. They also maintain a notification process with first-responders, including The Colony Fire Department, regarding any serious health issues.
For its part, Fire Chief Scott Thompson said the department has recently updated its operating and dispatch guidelines accordingly, and is implementing specific tools designed to assist dispatchers with obtaining critical information and for passing that information on to first-responders. Jason Bonds, the department’s newly appointed Chief of Emergency Medical Services, is in daily contact with TCFD’s medical control doctors regarding treatment of patients with any infectious disease.
Chief Bonds also receives daily updates from the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council, which contain daily counts on exposure, and updates from several other regional, state, and national public health organizations.
“The Colony first-responders are highly trained in infectious diseases and have all the equipment needed to safely transport persons possibly infected,” Powell said. Unlike the Ebola incident of 2014, each of the hospitals that TCFD transfers to are currently setup to accept coronavirus patients, added Thompson.
For more information, visit the coronavirus page of the Denton County Public Health website.