Methuen Swine Flu Preparations

There has been much talk and concern about the “Swine Flu” outbreak, and although we have not had any recorded cases as of yet in Massachusetts I have asked our Emergency Management Team, our Public Health Director, and our School Department to work jointly to prepare for any problems that might arise. This Monday I activated our Emergency Response effort, and we had a meeting today to deal with preparation and best practices to try to avoid infection. Our preparations include today’s Emergency Management Meeting attended by School Superintendent Whitten, as well as continued contact with and coordination with regional emergency management as well as with the State Department of Public Health. We are also in contact with Federal Emergency Management folks as well. Action items include advance procurement of some additional supplies, including supplies that may be needed by first responders.

We have also begun coordination with the Holy Family Hospital Infectious Disease Coordinator, and today our Health Department participated in a conference call between Holy Family Hospital and the State Department of Public Health.

We are prepared to open an EDS (Emergency Dispensing Site) if needed to deliver medication. The federal government has released 25% of the SNS (Strategic National Stockpile) of flu treatment medication to every state to expedite the delivery of medication to the general public if needed.

And finally we have begun preparations to open our Emergency Management Operation Center, if needed.

At this time we do not anticipate that such actions will be needed, but advance preparation is the key to successful Emergency Management. I will keep you apprised of any new developments, and please feel free to call us with any questions. You can call us at the Mayor’s office at 978-983-8505 and we will do our best to get you the answers you need. Superintendent Whitten and I will send home a letter to parents on this subject that will go out this week. I have attached three advisories from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, including one on schools and the flu.




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