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Local officials meet to discuss Ebola protocol

Columbia and Boone County officials are working together to come up with a community-wide Ebola first response plan.

Thursday, the Boone County Office of Emergency Management hosted a meeting for public safety agencies, area hospitals and ambulance services.

Officials said they are still finalizing the plans.

Martina Pounds, Boone Co. Office of Emergency Management:”This has been an ongoing process since about last week and all the public safety agencies are communicating, getting together, to ensure common practices and what everybody’s doing, sharing resources to make sure we all know what is available to each agency.”

Some people present at the meeting included officers from the Columbia Police Department, The MU Police Department and the Columbia and Boone County fire departments. A representative from the University of Missouri and reps from area hospitals were also there.

Martina Pounds with the Boone Co. Office of Emergency Management said they reviewed CDC recommendations for public safety responders. She said the purpose of the meeting was to get everyone on the same page so every agency knows what others are doing if the Ebola virus comes to Mid-Missouri. Some things discussed included what safety precautions to take and personal protective gear for first responders.

Pounds: “The procedures are still not finalized. Next week we’ll hopefully have everything finalized about public safety response procedures, all that, it’s just a process that takes a little bit of time for us to make sure that our responders are safe.”

Friday, the Emergency Management Office will host another meeting specifically for public health and officials.

Pounds said the policies should be finalized and outlines by next Tuesday. After that, she said all first responders will be trained on the procedures.

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