WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) – Each day selfless men and women take the front lines to battle what may be one of the scariest crises the country has seen.
Take a look behind the scenes of how local health district officials deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
It is National Public Health Week, and Public Health Director Lou Kreidler said everyone in the community is a public health worker and should do what they can help the problem, just as health leaders have been doing before our first case was in the county.
“Since COVID-19 [began], my title has changed a lot; my title is still there but the role is nothing like it was,” Heath Promotions and Brands Manager Laci Edwards said.
Edwards is one of the many people behind the scenes working tirelessly to inform the public and provide resources for those with the virus.
“I case manage: whenever a positive comes in, it gets distributed, and when we get the case, we call them and just learn about them, where they work, where their symptoms started, how they feel now,” Edwards said.
Each case is assigned to someone in the district who then keeps in touch with individuals for their 14-day isolation, but like everyone else, public health leaders have had to adjust.
“We have to be practicing what we preach that social distancing piece and making sure we’re meeting the needs of the staff on a very different level than we’ve had before,” Assistant Public Health Director Amy Fagan said. “I think that resolve together has been very important as a team and we move forward as a community to make sure we’re all protected.”
As officials get used to their new normal, they want citizens to know their main focus is being on the frontlines for them.
“We educate the public and we want them to understand that there is always going to be a bad day, but how are you going to react and prepare for the bad day?” Edwards said. “You just want to make sure you are proactive and reactive.”
“Our entire community are public health workers, so it’s their responsibility to public health to make sure they are sheltering in place,” Wichita Falls-Wichita Falls Public Health Director Lou Kreidler said.
All the health officials agree resources will always be available as they work toward the safety of the community. They emphasize the Health District has been preparing for COVID-19 before it touched ground in Wichita County and as information changes each day they work as best they can to inform the public and face the issues head-on.