OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Four years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world. There were millions of cases and deaths and hospitals stretched beyond their capacity.

“Let’s hope we never have one of those,” said Douglas County Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse. “However, knowing that things have been changing rapidly, you know, it’s not outside of the realm of possibilities that we have a public health emergency from time to time.”

In response to the pandemic, the Douglas County Health Department is working on a plan to better prepare for public health emergencies. It involves working with several organizations like Christ Community Church and the Visiting Nurses Association to more readily provide medical resources.

“If we’re prepared, we are able to respond so much faster,” Huse said. “The quicker we can get vaccines to people, the quicker we can get medications to people or other medical measures, the more lives we can save and protect.”

Vodec is a nonprofit teaming up with the county in their efforts. TSteve Hodapp, Vodec’s CEO, says the partnership helps his employees.

“It keeps an estimated thousand people out of the public lines in case something happens because we would be able to provide vaccines to that many people provided by Douglas County,” Hodapp said.

Overall, Huse believes the pandemic was a lesson learned on how to move forward.

“Having these plans in place is extremely important to making sure these sites know what our expectations might be,” Huse said.

The Douglas County Health Department also has other resources on how you can prepare for a public health emergency that you can find here.

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