Cook County Opens COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center
Mar 25, 2020 11:38AM
● By Editor
Media release from Cook County Minnesota - March 25, 2020
Cook County has established a COVID-19 emergency operations center (EOC) at the Cook County Community Center, county officials announced today.
The EOC provides a centralized location for personnel to gather information and make emergency management decisions. As such, it is a secure area and not open to the media or the public, said Cook County Emergency Management Director and EOC Manager Mike Keyport. Additionally, EOC staff is working in the virtual environment as much as possible.
“The EOC structure can be utilized in many emergency situations, including a national pandemic,” stated Keyport. “This falls in line with national, state and local public health protocols so that we can provide timely and accurate information to area residents.”
Keyport, in conjunction with Cook County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS), is participating in regular briefings with a number of entities, including the state, regional emergency managers and local officials.
Updates are being shared with the local media and on the county’s website and Facebook pages. Additionally, the county is setting up online resources to address frequently addressed questions (FAQs) and a COVID-19 phone line at 218-387-3668. That line is set up and will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to address general questions from the public.
The establishment of an EOC to respond to unplanned events such as COVID-19 is detailed in Cook County’s Emergency Operations Plan. EOC partners include Cook County PHHS; Cook County Emergency Management; the City of Grand Marais; the townships of Lutsen, Schroeder and Tofte; the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; local health care entities; local utilities; and other local and regional partners as needed.