The pandemic still rages on across the United States. Idaho has been hit hard recently with a surge from the holidays, but there is hope. Vaccines have begun rolling out across the state, and most counties are seeing hundreds of vaccines reach hospitals for frontline workers.
One of those counties is Teton County. The county has been faring better recently as opposed to others in the state, but that doesn’t mean the problem is over yet. The county still has a lot of work to do.
Greg Adams, who is the director of the county’s Emergency Management Department, talked with us about how the county is handling the virus, and what they’re doing to help stop the spread.
“Right now, we’re seeing a surge, a post-holiday surge. We’re working now to determine the severity of it and where to go from there,” he said.
The excessive holiday traveling has led to a lot of new cases, Adams said. Adams and the department were expecting this and made several moves to help the county stay at a lower infection rate.
“We are working with testing, our local hospital, and our public health department on vaccine planning, and how to get those vaccines to those health workers, and then soon the general public,” Adams said. “We also do a lot of education outreach and helping the public know what to do, how to do it, and why it matters.”
A lot of factors have been causing a lot of busy days for the Emergency Management Department for the last year. The dangers of the virus, the problems of working from home, the added pressure of helping maintain health guidelines. The list goes on. Adams said that he and his department have seen this crisis completely change their work and their lives.
“It has taken over my life since March 14th,” he said. “It has been a nonstop issue and concern.”
Despite the vast obstacle ahead of them, Adams is hopeful, and encourages everyone to keep moving forward, regardless of the challenges everyone faces.
“Just keep with it. This is a marathon. Don’t give up. Sometimes it seems like the race is never going to end, but hopefully there is an end in sight. We’ll keep working together to keep everyone as safe as we possibly can,” he said.
The next stage of the vaccine, which goes to teachers and those over 75 years old is expected to start next month.