City of PI: continue safety measures amid growing COVID-19 cases

Special from the City of Port Isabel 

As we enter the third month since the first City of Port Isabel Proclamation was declared by Mayor Juan Jose “J.J.” Zamora, it is still important that protective practices are adhered to. Particularly during a time when Cameron County is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Taking a note from Charlie Wood, Port Isabel EMS Director, on the question of masks, “the mask serves to protect both the person wearing it and those in the vicinity. The person wearing the mask is protected about 30 percent and 70 percent to those around him or her. Especially if they are talking or interacting at a distance within six to ten feet.” 

As for the necessity of having to reuse a mask or wear it for long periods of time, Wood explains, “a disposable mask is just that, meant to be disposed of after a reasonable period of usage, but a cloth mask can be sanitized with an alcohol or sanitizing spray, allowed to dry and then continue to serve its purpose.” 

With summer visitors ascending into the Port Isabel area, it is important that everybody contributes to their personal health and the health of those around them.

COVID-19 has also served to remind the public that it is important to practice good hygiene even beyond the pandemic. Washing your hands and sanitizing high touch points around you is a good general practice and should be encouraged. During the COVID-19 pandemic good practices also include disinfecting your hands and mask before and after you get into your vehicle and wearing a mask when you are going to be around others.

Those calling 9-1-1 for assistance will be asked a series of questions to assist EMS staff with assessing any possibility of COVID-19. Wood points out that asking about recent international travel is now moot, but if a patient has had a fever or any other symptoms that might be concerning, dispatch will be able to quickly assess the level of caution that medics will need to exercise for everybody’s safety. For the benefit of both EMS and patients, masks are worn by medics and are requested of the patients that EMS interacts with whenever possible. Woods explained that once a patient is transported, the ambulance unit is deep cleaned before leaving the hospital so that it is immediately ready for the next call.

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