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Timely drill: Local emergency management agencies, Department of Health conduct pandemic exercise

Local emergency management agencies and the Mississippi Department of Health had planned three months ago an emergency exercise drill involving a flu pandemic in Adams County. Little did they know the exercise would take on a whole new meaning as the state and the rest of the country dealt with COVID-19, the new coronavirus spreading in communities across the country.

Thursday’s drill involved personnel from Adams County Emergency Management, Merit Health Natchez, American Medical Response ambulance service, the Mississippi Department of Health and area nursing homes.

Most of the drill was conducted at the Adams County Safe Room, but also took place at separate locations in the community.

During the drill, officials set up a Point of Dispensing that would be used to distribute necessary medicines to area health agencies and to the public in the event of a major pandemic. Thursday’s exercise was for a flu pandemic, but could also apply to other similar situations, officials said.