Emergency operations center has reopened

With a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the village and town, Massena officials have reopened their Emergency Operations Center. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — With a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the village and town, Massena officials have reopened their Emergency Operations Center. It’s currently operating remotely rather than in person.

“The EOC was physically shut down earlier this year, however has continued to operate informally and remotely, as several times a week discussions are held regarding COVID-19 numbers, orders issued, etc.,” Mayor Timmy J. Currier said.

He said they’ve held a formal meeting for community partners, including first responders, health care professionals, education representatives, service providers, not-for-profit organizations that provide assistance, local government, St. Lawrence County Public Health and Emergency Services, and major employers. Aaron Hardy is leading the day-to-day management of the EOC.

“We anticipated the increase in cases this fall and we were prepared to activate the EOC when the time was right, and given the noticeable increase, I felt it was appropriate to start partners meetings,” Mr. Currier said.

As of Tuesday, Massena had the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases in St. Lawrence County — 114 out of 619 reported for the county. Eighteen of those cases were still active as of Tuesday.

He said the EOC acts as a resource for citizens and the community; a conduit to county and state officials; and a reliable and trusted resource for information and safety.

“Our goal is to stay ahead of the COVID-19 crisis, coordinate local government and community resources, and respond to the needs of our citizens,” Mr. Currier said. “As we learned earlier this year, this will not be easy. However, when we work as a team and help each other, there is nothing this community and our partners can’t achieve.”

The Massena Emergency Operations Center can be reached at: 315-705-2211 or massenaeoc@gmail.com.

The center had initially opened “to facilitate and coordinate the community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis” at 11 a.m. March 23 in the Massena Town Hall as the novel coronavirus crisis began to grow.

Retired Police Chief Adam J. Love had served as the Emergency Operations Center manager, working with a management team that included representatives from the town and village, Massena Rescue Squad, Massena Volunteer Fire Department, Massena Recreation Department, Department of Public Works and Police Activities League of Massena.

The group worked with federal, state and regional authorities to ensure an effective and coordinated response to the crisis.

Its operations were suspended at the end of June after the virus initially subsided over the summer. Although it was suspended, it was subject to reopening at any time as the situation warranted.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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