On Wednesday, April 29, the Director of Public Health for Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, sat down with 3RNews for the first of an on-going conversation on the COVID-19 pandemic. Meet Karen Elliott (no relation) who spends every day now battling the coronavirus and protecting the health of Tulare County.
In this first installment, Elliott reveals her Visalia roots and a career in business that began in Chico at Cal State has an undergraduate. With more than 20 years in the field of healthcare, Elliott knows that managing a crisis means saving lives first but also holding the reins of costs that in healthcare can be off the charts. The buck stops here
In 2018, after coming up through the department ranks, and receiving her M.A. in business from Fresno State, she became the agency’s director. In this Part 1 segment Elliott tells how in January 2020, working with World Ag Expo, she was already planning for travelers from many countries including China — ground zero for COVID-19. By mid-March, Tulare County had it ‘s first positive cases and the battle lines were drawn — testing, tracing, hospitalization, and quarantine.
In Part 2, Elliott admits that she’s not a medical expert but knows that first will come medicine for the symptoms and then in 2021, hopefully a tried and true vaccine. In the meantime, she and her colleagues are following a road map that they don’t always know where it is going. The buck stops here
As to when this crisis will be over and the stay-at-home order will be lifted, Elliott says Tulare County will for now continue to follow orders from the state.
“Our health orders are pretty consistent with the state and county orders and we will continue to follow whichever of these directives are the most strict.” The buck stops here
Next time: Elliott discusses testing protocol and what it will reveal for getting the upper hand in this unprecedented crisis.