Kevin Naumann sees firsthand the way the coronavirus pandemic is affecting first responders and schools. So far, he said, both are adapting to the crisis admirably.
Naumann is the Marble Falls Area EMS operations director and Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees president. In a phone call April 13 with KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune‘s Ed Chandler, he talked about the impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, on the two entities.
Naumann said the EMS has changed a few things in response to COVID-19 in what he described as “mostly a ramped-up version of what we have been doing.” The big challenge right now, Naumann said, is keeping up with government requirements and new practices due to the pandemic.
“It’s kind of like drinking from a water hose,” he said, describing how quickly things are changing.
Those changes start with emergency dispatchers, who are now asking questions they previously did not. When someone calls 9-1-1, dispatchers now inquire about the patient’s recent travels and if they’re coughing or running a temperature, symptoms of COVID-19. With these answers, ambulance crews know what to expect before they arrive.
And, when possible, people needing help are being asked to meet emergency crews outside of their home to avoid enclosed areas.
Even if a patient isn’t exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, emergency crews are treating everyone as if they have the disease as a precaution, Naumann said.
In his other role as MFISD board president, Naumann said he is amazed how quickly and efficiently district staff responded to remote learning after schools were closed.
Though not an ideal learning situation, students and teachers are finding ways to make it work.
Currently, the tentative date for students statewide to return to campuses is May 4, set by Governor Greg Abbott. Naumann is hopeful but also realistic.
Other state governments have closed schools through the end of the 2019-20 school year, and Naumann said he would not be surprised if Abbott makes the same decision.
He told Chandler his heart goes out to this year’s seniors, who are missing out on significant milestones, including prom and commencement ceremonies.
As for longterm impacts, Naumann told KBEY’s Chandler that school districts might look at ways to continue remote learning in some form after students return to campuses.
“We’ve had the ability to prove this online instruction works,” Naumann said.
Listen to the full interview on KBEYFM.com.
LLANO COUNTY UPDATE
On Tuesday, April 14, at 7:45 a.m., Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham will call in to talk with Chandler about how the county is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in to 103.9 FM or listen online.
For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the Highland Lakes, visit the DailyTrib.com coronavirus resources webpage.