To the Editor:

On Nov. 1, the Seneca County Health Department held a Mass Antibiotic Dispensing Drill at Waterloo High School as part of our emergency preparedness efforts. Thank you to everyone who helped make this drill a success. The commitment from our staff, volunteers, and the community enabled us to conduct a successful exercise that tested our ability to respond in the event of a large scale communicable disease outbreak.

Many response elements were tested that day including: command structure, mass notification of staff and volunteers, rapid setup of the dispensing site, just-in-time training, use of the state’s electronic data management system and rapid dispensing operations.

We also would like to thank the area businesses and individuals who were generous in donating items to be used for raffles to incentivize individuals to participate. Thank you also to the Finger Lakes Times for the great job that was done to promote this event and assist in our quest for volunteers to staff the site, as well as encouraging community members to participate. The administration and staff at Waterloo High School were more than accommodating.

As is the goal of every drill or exercise, several areas for improvement were identified. As a result, our plans will be revised accordingly. We also identified many strengths in our planning efforts. It is through the generosity of the many, many individuals and businesses in our community that we were able to conduct this drill safely and successfully.

Thank you to everyone for their generous support in our planning efforts. Without this support and commitment, we would not be able to meet the community needs.

VICKIE SWINEHART

Director of Public Health

Seneca County Health Department

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