BY DAVID FISHER
WEAKLEY COUNTY (May 26) — As counties and municipalities across Tennessee seek to minimize the impact of COVID-19 by calling for strict safety procedures, they are assisted by federal, state and various other organizations in obtaining the equipment needed to battle the dreaded virus.
According to Weakley County Emergency Management Director Ray Wiggington, his department has been busy procuring the supplies needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks (M-95 and surgical), gloves, gowns and disinfectant.
“We’ve been acquiring them for the courthouse, school system, and medical facilities within the county,” Wiggington said. “It’s been a big job for us that we’ve been doing for the last month-and-a-half. But, we’re not stockpiling supplies. We request it from the state as we need it, and they get it to us before we’re out of stock. We’ve found that works well with all of the other counties. Everybody needs PPE right now, as well as cleaning supplies, such as hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays and disinfectant wipes.”
As an example of the safety precautions being practiced in government buildings across Weakley County, Wiggington said, “What we’re doing here at the Sheriff’s Department (where his office is located) is to have a Sheriff’s deputy posted at the front door. Whenever someone comes to the lobby, the deputy asks them what they need, and who do they wish to speak with. Then, they come back and get us. We either go out to meet them or the deputy escorts them back to us.”
“At the courthouse, masks are required,” Wiggington said. “If you don’t have a mask, they can get you a surgical mask onsite, but they prefer you bring your own, because the surgical masks are coming from the state. There’s a limited supply and everybody needs them. We had a shipment of 3,000 masks that came in today.
“TEMA has been working with us very closely and making sure everybody has the personal protective equipment they need, as well as the sanitation equipment.
“We’re keeping our heads above water, that’s for sure; and we’re doing a lot better than some other areas.”
According to Wiggington, 26 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Weakley County, and 23 of them have already recovered.
He notes some of the larger metropolitan areas have had many more cases, due partly to their population density, and people living in multistory apartments, where the residents have to use the same stairways and doors. Because Weakley County has a lower population density and people are more spaced out, there have only been a few cases.
Wiggington says he very much appreciates everyone’s continued support for the EMA office.
BY DAVID FISHER