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Marion County Emergency Operations Center upgraded to Level 1 due to COVID-19 response

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Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 17:25:36-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Emergency Operations Center has been upgraded to Level 1 status as officials respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The center is staffed by representatives from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, Marion County Public Health Department, Marion County Sheriff's Office, and local hospitals, according to a press release from the City of Indianapolis.

Under a Level 1 status, the center will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, according to the release. Operations from the center are being done in coordination with Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogestt's office and city policymakers.

Daily briefings are held throughout the day with public safety leadership at the city, county, state, and federal levels, according to the release.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation that requires an unprecedented response from our community,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said in the release. “Having our public safety and public health agencies in constant communication ensures the paramedics, firefighters, officers, and healthcare professionals on the front lines of this crisis have the most up-to-date information and are best prepared to keep themselves and the residents we all serve safe."

Staff at the center are monitoring local hospitals, clinics, and primary care providers to make sure they have enough equipment and resources to serve patients, said Dr. Virgina Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department, in the release.

The last time the center was upgraded to a Level 1 status was in 2006 when straight-line winds damaged several skyscrapers in downtown Indianapolis, according to the release. When a tornado formed during the Indianapolis 500 in 2004, the center was upgraded to a Level 2 status.