County requests support and supplies from federal and state government to continue response
By Meteor Staff
Sunday March 22, 9 AM MST
An unexpected demand for COVID-19 tests has already found county officials scraping the bottom of the barrel.
County officials are asking the state and federal governments to send financial aid and supplies such as test kits and personal protection equipment. Without test kits and supplies, the County will have to discontinue testing this next week.
In a press release last night Coconino County says the County was the first in the state of Arizona to set-up specimen collections sites for the testing of COVID-19. Coconino County established an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on March 12, 2020 and has enhanced communication efforts to include the activation of the Coconino County COVID-19 Information Line, increased website resources, heightened disease investigation capacity and established the first quarantine site to house ill people who are experiencing homelessness and awaiting test results.
“Coconino County’s COVID-19 response is a leader in the state,” said Chair Lena Fowler. “However, if we don’t get the financial aid and supplies soon, we won’t be able to continue services to help prevent the spread of this virus. We call on our state and federal partners to make test kits and other supplies available immediately.”
The County continues to work with local, state and federal partners to respond to the COVID-19 situation. The County took initial action on the COVID-19 response in late January with the formation of the Coconino County Incident Command Team at Coconino County Health and Human Services.
“Our first priority is the health of the people we serve,” said COVID-19 Incident Commander Dr. Marie Peoples. “I’m extremely proud of the work our team is doing in this difficult situation. However, our ability to keep up this response depends on the state and federal government helping us. If state and federal resources don’t arrive soon, we may run out of tests kits, Personal Protection Equipment and other necessary items.”
Coconino County is the second largest county in the contiguous U.S. It is responsible for health and emergency services for over 125,000 residents and millions of visitors.