NATCHEZ, Miss. (WLBT) - In Mississippi, a coronavirus task force created in the City of Natchez is the first in the state.
Mayor Darryl Grennell came up with the plan as fears and concerns continue to grow about the virus.
Currently there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Mississippi, but that is not stopping those in Natchez from preparing for a potential outbreak. They say it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“Right now, this is one of the chief concerns across the country,” said Lance Boyd, who is Chief Executive Officer of Merit Health Natchez.
He is also one of the advisory members of the new preparedness task force making sure they are doing what they can to protect the health of the public.
“The task force was created to coordinate all of our local resources. We wanted to make sure we were pulling all our resources to better serve the community,” Boyd said.
The 17-member preparedness task force is made of health and law enforcement officials as well as everyday citizens. School officials like Lornell Ford are part of the team.
He shared with the group how the Natchez-Adams County School District handled a flu outbreak that could possibly help if the virus would spread in the town.
“We used special machines and it uses a series of peroxide and water. Once it is sprayed into a cloud or fume within the school as a follow-up measure to keep this thing at bay, it has a 10-minute kill. It also kills the coronavirus we found out. The things we used in the school, we felt we can use this with the task force and the entire community,” said Ford.
The group is also working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health organizations to get accurate information to those who live and work in Natchez in a timely manner.
“It is really paying attention to the true facts instead of listing to social media, or what your neighbor told you, and really paying attention to what the true facts are as we know them rather than panic-driving reaction. Our goal is to keep in front of this, and we will keep in front of this,” said task force member William Thames.