Washington County

Washington Co. officials working to fight spread of coronavirus

WASHINGTON, Pa. — Several local counties are ramping up their efforts to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, whether there are cases there or not, including Washington County.

Tucked away at the Washington County Airport is the Emergency Management Task Force hub for all of Region 13. County leaders said they wanted to give Channel 11 a tour to reassure the public they are prepared.

“What we have here, a lot will be focused in the county. We stand ready to assist our neighbors and they stand ready to assist us,” said Jeff Yates, Public Safety Director for Washington County.

The center has the ability to connect all 13 counties in the region for coordination and allowing them to share 911 resources. The hub is full of equipment and trucks, including tents, generators and personal protective equipment.

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“If the situation goes from bad to worse, our first responders stand ready to make sure we are prepared not only in Washington County. All this equipment is for Washington, Greene, Allegheny and Westmoreland County,” Yates said.

Yates said his team is ready to set up drive-thru testing for coronavirus, likely at the fairgrounds.

A presumptive case of coronavirus was been announced in Washington County last week.

This was the first case in western Pennsylvania. County officials said the person has not yet been named, but they were treated at a private practice, tested positive and their results were sent to the state. The private practice has not yet been named either.

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Pittsburgh-area colleges started taking precautions weeks ago.

To help protect yourself, the state health department suggests washing your hands often, disinfecting shared spaces and staying home if you feel sick.