The National Association of County and City Health Officials told the Times that their agencies have nearly one-quarter fewer people on their payrolls than they did in 2008. "Many of them have made their situation plain: They are heading into a crisis without the resources they need," the story says, quoting Scott Lockard, director of a department that serves seven counties in Eastern Kentucky: “People are wearing several different hats and sharing job responsibilities for things that they were not doing before, so we’re already operating at peak efficiency and we have no capacity when something like this happens.”
Debra Nagel, a nurse who specializes in communicable disease and preparedness, answered the phone at the Jasper County Health Department in Rensselaer, Ind., and said she would be happy to briefly chat about her department’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“I think the main challenge is —” she said, stopped short by another phone trilling in the background.
“I guess I don’t really have the time to talk,” she said. “I’m the only one here.”
She apologized and hung up.