Sheriff’s office reactivates emergency operations to handle rising virus cases

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday announced the reactivation of the Emergency Operations Center in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases and its impact on county hospitals. 

The EOC includes personnel from the sheriff’s office, public health department and the chief administrative office. It brings together in one location staff to lead the planning, operations, logistics, technical and public information aspects of an emergency in a structure that ensures the most pressing needs are met, and that limited resources are used without duplication or waste, said a press release.

“It’s clear from the substantial increase of positive cases, the more serious impact on our county’s hospital and intensive care units and the trickle-down effect to our overall health care system and community wellbeing that it’s time to provide as many resources as possible to address this public health emergency,” said Sheriff John D’Agostini in the release. “Our community needs to do all it can to keep our county safe, open and as normal as possible in the face of this virus, especially as we see some segments of our health care and economy really struggling and expect more to come.

“The sheriff’s office unequivocally supports the message that individual responsibility is the key to keeping this virus under control and activating the EOC will help our community stay safe,” D’Agostini added. “The sheriff’s office will continue to focus on education rather than enforcement.”

The EOC originally opened to address the pandemic in March and closed in June as the impact of the virus was less severe. Since the closure, the public health department has managed the county’s response.

“Our public health employees have done a very good job responding to this unprecedented and frequently changing public health landscape, but we have limited resources to successfully address what many are calling the most serious time in the pandemic as we move into the holiday season and winter,” said CAO Don Ashton in the release. “We’re grateful for the added expertise and resources the EOC brings to an incident like this.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.