LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The county Health Department says that Monday’s mock emergency scenario handed down from New York State successfully tested their ability to distribute emergency medication to the community in two short hours, and the county emergency drug distribution plan does indeed work and help keep everyone safe.
Local residents could sign up for the drill, a Medical Countermeasure Distribution Exercise, beforehand, or just drive up to the Livingston County Highway Department at 4389 Gypsy Lane in Mount Morris and receive fake pills representing one of two emergency medications.
“People were given mock medication based on a short questionnaire, which determined allergies or pregnancy that would change which drugs they got,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, Director of the County Department of Health. “The average time a car spent with us was about a minute and a half. We saw about 150 people in two hours.”
The county Health Department received a message at the start of the drill describing a fictional scenario in which terrorists with a hypothetical violent offshoot of a Middle Eastern extremist group injected credit card solicitations with credit card spores.
“[The terrorists] have devised a strategy of injecting anthrax spores with a fine needle into the envelopes containing the credit card solicitation prior to mailing the items,” read the fictional scenario for the exercise. “Local and State emergency management officials begin immediate implementation of their consequence management plans, and local health departments, following guidance issued by CDC and the NYSDOH, are activating statewide mass Points of Dispensing to distribute Ciprofloxacin and doxycycline.”
The scenario said that credit card solicitations are not screened by the US Postal Service, and members of the terrorist group have devised a strategy of injecting anthrax spores with a fine needle into the envelopes containing the credit card solicitation prior to mailing the items. Within two weeks of sabotaging the credit card solicitations, hundreds of thousands are being delivered across Upstate New York.
The state sent several actors to present symptoms of illness and symptoms that would be seen if the scenario were to occur in real life.
Rodriquez added that the drill was not in anticipation of any kind of real life event, and was done in part because the county Health Department has not had an emergency drill of this type and scale in nine years.
PHOTO CAPTION: File image.
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