The County Public Health Department helps to protect us from communicable diseases, weather extremes and unhealthy restaurant conditions. Although the County works quietly most times, that does not mean that it is not constantly monitoring for possible threats to health. Olmsted practices emergency preparedness on a regular basis and puts its emergency protocols into action when warranted. In 2016 the public health department’s emergency systems were activated 10 times to respond to an outbreak of school illness, outbreak of Pertussis (whooping cough), a weather event of extreme heat, one legionella investigation and six foodborne illness investigations. Olmsted reacts very quickly to public health threats. For example, when investigating foodborne illness outbreaks, interventions are usually in place within two hours and the entire response completed within two days. Olmsted continues to work at reducing the intervention/response time. We can thank Olmsted County Public Health for the skills they have and the planning they do to keep us safe.
(Source: Olmsted County Public Health Services, Public Health Emergency Preparedness)