Local COVID working group meeting to coordinate efforts for ongoing pandemic response

The local COVID working group met for the first time this week.

The group came out of the discussion at the COVID after-action reaction meeting in mid-August.

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The group includes Cascade City-County Health Department, Cascade County Disaster and Emergency Services, Great Falls Fire Rescue, Great Falls Emergency Services, Benefis Health System, Great Falls Clinic, Alluvion Health and Great Falls Public Schools.

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They’re meeting weekly to better coordinate and focus the efforts of the various agencies and private entities that have been involved in the pandemic response.

The group members provided updates on their operations during the meeting.

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“It is clear that each stakeholder present is feeling the strain that the surging COVID-19 numbers are causing, on their respective staffing and service capabilities across the board. A primary goal of these meetings is to ensure that each stakeholder has an up-to-date understanding of what each other party is seeing on a day-to-day basis so that we can better assist each other in jointly addressing the ongoing challenges that COVID presents. Sharing of personal protective equipment and other response resources was emphasized as one thing we can each do in furtherance of those mutual goals,” according to Ben Spencer of CCHD.

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The group focused their communication this week on supporting the efforts and challenges currently faced by the community’s healthcare providers and they were encouraging the public to reach out to healthcare workers they know to express gratitude and encouragement, Spencer said.