Duluth Fire Chief Details City’s Response if Coronavirus Hits Northland

Fire Chief said not to panic, but expect the virus in the County at some point.

DULUTH, Minn.- As the second case of Coronavirus was discovered in Minnesota on Sunday, the City of Duluth says it has what it is calling a pandemic plan that could be utilized should the need arise.

According to Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj, the city is closely monitoring the virus on the local, state, and national level. They are also in talks with ISD School District 709 and the universities in the area.

While the public should not panic, Krizaj said we should expect to see Coronavirus in the county at some point.

The pandemic plan in place is designed for influenza, but can be used for Coronavirus as well.

It mostly involves updating contact information, and stockpiling supplies like masks and gloves.

If a case was discovered in the county, the ctiy’s emergency management team would work with county, state, and federal partners.

“We would probably let St. Louis Health and Human Services take the lead, we would certainly support anything that we could. Whether that might be if there’s some sort of isolation or quarantine,” Krizaj said.

“It’s not gonna be a decision that’s being made by one person, there will be a lot of input involved.”

According to Krizaj, the Coronavirus is not so severe to require equipment like hazmat suits, but rather the particulate-filtering masks and gloves that they use for other medical responses.

The Fire Chief said while people are probably tired of hearing it, the best defense against the virus is still to practice basic hygiene and healthcare like washing your hands thoroughly and avoiding going to work if you are sick.

He also adds that it’s important that people get information on the virus from credible sources like the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health.

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