Emergency communications centers need to have continuity-of-operations plans in place in case they need to close for cleaning due to coronavirus contamination, April Heinze of the National Emergency Number Association said during a webinar last week. NENA Immediate Past President Jamison Peevyhouse recommended regular cleaning of workspaces and minimizing dispatchers' exposure to news while inside public-safety answering points to reduce stress.
Police agencies in North and South Carolina say they have been receiving more 9-1-1 calls about domestic violence, noting that the coronavirus pandemic is making bad situations worse and creating new problems. "Social distancing and social isolation is a really big problem because that's one of the tactics that abusers use anyways," said Tosha Conners of My Sister's House.
Police in Hawaii, Pennsylvania and South Carolina are asking people not to call 9-1-1 with nonemergency concerns regarding the coronavirus, such as questions about stay-at-home orders. The Kauai County, Hawaii, police have published an FAQ online to answer people's questions.
The Oneida County, N.Y., Sheriff's Office is keeping in touch with residents during the coronavirus pandemic by showing a video of the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each weekday on its Facebook page and giving children advice on how to safely stay home alone. The agency is also informing seniors about stores that have special shopping hours for them.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday said he supports offering workers' compensation to health care personnel and emergency responders who contract the coronavirus at work, without requiring them to prove they did so. He said he may issue an executive order if lawmakers fail to produce legislation extending the coverage.
The merger of Sprint and T-Mobile is officially complete, and the combined company will use T-Mobile's brand to do business beginning this summer. John Legere has left his position as CEO at T-Mobile and Mike Siever, his replacement and former chief operating officer, said the combined company will focus on using Sprint's network for 5G "almost immediately."