DeSoto County officials discussed its response to the current COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, threat.
Supervisors Monday heard from officials about how the county is addressing the issue.
County Administrator Vanessa Lynchard told supervisors the county continues to offer updated information on its official website and on its social media outlets.
As far as the county’s employees are concerned, Lynchard said they are being asked to be aware of their health and to not report to work if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
“The standard is that anyone with a temperature above 100.4 degrees would go home,” Lynchard said. “HR (Human Resources) has put out a communication to all employees. We continue to look to the state and federal government for direction on how to conduct business.”
One area talked about during Monday’s board meeting concerned the Tax Collector’s office, where citizens need to pay taxes.
“The Tax Collector is doing what he can to make sure that they are able to serve the public while still providing the services they are to provide,” Lynchard said.
Tax Collector Joey Treadway added he may ask that residents be allowed to pay their taxes by mail with the four-dollar mailing fee being waived.
“Money is one of the biggest problems,” Treadway said. “We can’t work with gloves because you can’t type and such when you work with gloves. What we might want to consider if this goes past a month or past two weeks to waive the four-dollar mailing fee where more people can just push the mail through and we can just sit here and operate with the mail instead of coming in.”
Recent orders from the state Supreme Court have given judges more discretion about their court dockets. Summons for juries are currently on hold through at least mid-April.
“Monday, they have limited courtroom crowds to 50 or less,” Lynchard said. “Justice courts have a full load this particular week and they are working together to try and make sure they can manage that without inconveniencing the people to come back if they can avoid it.”
Another area involves calls for patients to the county EMS department. Those patients will have a number of questions asked by dispatch to determine how best to respond. First responders are also taking extra precautions to make sure they are not unnecessarily exposed to anything.
“Sunday, we changed the questions,” said EMS Director Mark Davis. “Dispatch will now be asking if the patient or anyone around you has been diagnosed positive for the coronavirus. Are you running a fever? If you are, what kind of symptoms do you have?”
There’s also going to be a limit of the number of people who are going inside of a house when a call involves a volunteer fire department. Only the essential number of people will enter to respond to a call.
Lynchard stressed the county has been continually reviewing the latest information about COVID-19 and responding.
"DeSoto County will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation," Lynchard said. "Supervisors plan to continue to serve the people as usual. We will constantly evaluate conditions and make changes as necessary and recommended to protect the citizens of DeSoto County and those who use our facilities.”