CAPCOG responds to COVID-19 helping EMCs, older adults
CAPCOG is assisting local jurisdictions with emergency management response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing older adult nutrition and isolation concerns related to Stay Home orders issued to combat the spread of the virus.
“No single jurisdiction can respond to a pandemic on their own,” said Martin Ritchey, CAPCOG Homeland Security director. “Information needs to be shared so our actions and resources can be coordinated accordingly and to allow those making decisions that affect the public’s wellbeing to do so in the most informed manner.”
The Homeland Security Division is rigorously assisting multiple jurisdictions with WebEOC operations, a virtual emergency command center that allows jurisdiction to track all aspects of an emergency and share information. It has been expanding access to the application to specialized response teams so information can be appropriately disseminated to other jurisdictions’ operations. It also has used the platform to create and track specific incidents related to the pandemic. The division also is coordinating an ongoing series of regional briefings that allows public safety, emergency management and health officials to directly communicate with one another. It also has helped organize the use of WarnCentralTexas.org text, short codes in Hays, Travis and Williamson counties and the city of Georgetown, so residents specifically seeking COVID-19 information can stay informed. Residents can text either AlertWilco, AlertHays, AlertTravis or GTCOVID19 to 888777 to enroll in the notifications.
Read more about the Homeland Security Division.
The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP) has sought and received more meal related funding to provide additional shelf-stable meals for older adults who receive home-delivered and congregate-meal through area nutrition programs. It is working with its current vendors and other programs to ensure older adults are getting proper nutrition and that there are an adequate number of volunteers to safely deliver meals.
“Many older adults rely on congregate and home-delivered meals, and while Stay Home orders rightfully protect their health, they have impacted access to these nutrition programs,” said Patty Bordie, AAACAP director. “Another concern among older adults is the increased feeling of social isolation, which can lead to mental and physical health issues.” To help deter social isolation, the division is working with its existing vendors and partners to expand interventions such phone education courses, support groups, and telehealth counseling. It is conducting its first online adult health and wellness programs, such as Living with Chronic Conditions, so individuals can continue of learn how to better age in place while connecting with their peers online. AAACAP also is contacting its previous consumers to ensure their needs are being met.
Read more about AAACAP.
Other CAPCOG divisions continue to work by telecommuting and can be reached the easiest through email. A staff directory is available at https://www.capcog.org/staffs/. Some advisory committee meetings are being moved to the online platform GoToMeeting.com while others are being postponed. CAPCOG will send instructions to each committee about how to join online meetings. Several training workshops and programs for CAPCOG partners, local governments, and the general public also have been postponed. It will announce when those workshops have been rescheduled.
Check capcog.org for updates.