COVID-19 has forced everyone to adapt. From businesses to restaurants to hospitals to law enforcement agencies, the need to socially distance and limit large gatherings has forced us to get creative.
In 2020, mobile command centers have been used in new ways to help stop the spread of the virus and allow mobile testing sites to be set-up. Read on to learn more about mobile command centers and how they can facilitate emergency response communications.
Law enforcement agencies are the traditional users of mobile command centers, using them for critical incident responses, large community event, searches for missing persons, or large fires or accidents. While these uses all still apply, the mobile command centers are now being used for things like mobile dispatch, if buildings must be evacuated or closed due to the virus.
Some agencies are also using them to conduct outdoor briefings at the beginning of a shift, eliminating the need for officers to be in an enclosed space at the beginning of their shift.
To perform mass testing for the COVID-19 virus, many jurisdictions set up drive-through mobile testing sites that could serve large numbers of people who remained in their cars.
The mobile command centers are brought to these sites, including parking lots, baseball and football stadiums, and other sites that could accommodate hundreds of cars. The command centers were set up to direct the testing, provide shelter for those working at the testing site, and allow for organizers to keep track of the number of people tested and the testing kits.
Public Health Uses
While hospitals and in some states, National Guard Units, have used mobile command centers for testing, public health departments can also make use of these units. Bringing them to densely populated areas for mass vaccinations is one way that some counties plan to use them to fight COVID-19. They can also be used to distribute masks in low-income areas and bring them to an area to share critical information.
Some states even created mobile hospitals that used mobile command centers to direct operations. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, for example, set up a COVID-19 assessment and treatment area in their parking garage to keep patients who were positive for the virus away from others in the emergency room and hospital.
A mobile command center also can be used as a tool to monitor patients being treated for COVID. In Orlando, hospitals used a mobile center for their doctors and nurses to monitor all of the COVID patients at every hospital in their network. A video wall displays real-time data for every patient, allowing healthcare providers to learn more about how best to treat COVID and note any consistent patterns across the patients.
Mobile Command Centers to Fight COVID-19
Mobile command centers can be used in a variety of different ways to combat the COVID-19 virus. From providing information to testing to actually fighting the virus, these tools can help agencies and communities minimize the damage the virus can do.