The Department of Health activated its Emergency Operations Center on St. Croix (Charles Harwood Complex) and St. Thomas (Community Health Clinic) Tuesday night, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. respectively. Sixty-one Health Department staff – 38 on St. Croix and 23 on St. Thomas – including nurses, support staff and management, have been manning the EOC around the clock, caring for patients in the Special Needs Shelters and residents of the Eldra Schulterbrandt Home, and maintaining the infrastructure of the mentioned facilities. In the Special Needs Shelter, six nurses at a time are working 12 hour shifts (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) caring for nine patients on St. Thomas and seven patients on St. Croix. The Emergency Medical Services division has also been working 12 hour shifts.
“The Health Department’s EOC coordinates emergency response and disseminates information pertaining to maintaining the health of everyone in the territory. We have operations for public health and medical response, epidemiology, communications, finance and special needs. Through the EOC the DOH also collaborates and coordinates with other government agencies to have an effective and cohesive response to the effects of Hurricane Irma,” Health Commissioner Michelle Davies said in a statement.