Collier County task force actively responds to coronavirus

Every day for an indefinite number of weeks, leaders of law enforcement, fire and paramedics in Collier County have gathered to see what they need to do in response to coronavirus (COVID-19), how the situation is changing and what they need to do to keep serving the community.

It’s a system that works.

“We’ve actually been working on this since mid-January,” said Sheriff Kevin Rambosk of Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s why Rambosk put together a coronavirus task force using the incident command system (ICS). Everything having to do with a crisis is talked about. It includes operations, planning, training and finance.

As the problem grows, Rambosk says Collier County is ready to respond. But people are starting to panic. Equipment shortage and disturbances at stores are other issues CCSO and other Collier County agencies are responding to.

“In the last seven days, we’ve had an increase in disturbance calls,” Rambosk said. “People are frustrated; they’re scared; we want to ask all of them take care of one another.”

To do that, the county knows it must continuously update its message.

“The importance, urgency and the devastation that could happen,” said Stephanie Spell, the chief of community engagement at CCSO.

And leaders must update their way of conducting business.

President Donald Trump’s new recommendations is to keeping gatherings to 10 or less.

“This will be our last physical meeting for obvious reasons,” Rambosk said. “This will be pulling the plug.”

But you can count on this meeting still going on, just using technology to keep everyone safe.

“Local service is delivered at a local level,” Rambosk said.

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IF YOU FEEL SICK:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a 24-hour COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Questions may also be emailed to [email protected] Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida Department of Health COVID-19 updates

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Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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