ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County firefighters knocked on dozens of doors Wednesday at assisted living facilities to distribute information regarding the coronavirus.
Authorities planned to visit 82 facilities throughout the day to inform residents about how to prevent contracting COVID-19.
'It’s important for us to get out and help spread the information so they can take the proper steps to minimize exposure to our most vulnerable residents in the community," said Orange County Fire Rescue Spokesperson Mike Jachles.
The information firefighters handed out highlights the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations pertaining to long-term healthcare facilities and steps to minimize transmission of the virus. Pamphlets and posters also included preparedness information and how healthcare workers can protect themselves in the wake of the outbreak.
The most at-risk population for the virus appears to be the elderly or people with preexisting health conditions, according to the World Health Organization.
News 6 contacted more than a dozen assisted living facilities in Orange County and their representatives tell us they’re making changes that align with CDC recommendations like limiting outside visitors. Some are even having their residents attend doctor appointments through video chat to avoid contact with people outside of the community.
Jachles says if one of their firefighters or paramedics has to come in contact with some one who may have the Coronavirus, they are prepared.
“This is nothing new. We have a protocol for infectious disease response. We respond with personal protective equipment. It can range from gloves, masks, gowns, to eye protection depending on the situation," said Jachles.
Jachles says the department used this opportunity to survey the assisted living facilities and asses their needs for an improved response to emergency situations.
As of Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health has confirmed 21 cases of the coronavirus in the state and two deaths.