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Audrain Emergency Management distributing face shields

Posted on Friday, December 18, 2020 at 6:20 am

The team at Audrain County’s office of Emergency Management is doing something to help people get through the pandemic.

Over 800 face shields, that was the result of Audrain OEM Director Nick Tietsort’s working with the Mark Twain Council of Regional Governments.

“I want to get these deployed in the community,” Tietsort said when asked what his office plans to do with the clear-plastic shields – designed to slip over the bill of a hat to protect the user’s face from liquid droplets and globules. “It is another tool… I think it is good to employ all methodologies available to combat the pandemic and its spread.”

Deputy Director Leonardo Paniagua agreed.

“According to the CDC, shields are not as effective as facemasks, but there are some who cannot use masks due to conditions such as respiratory illness, so these still offer some protection,” he said. “Also, using a shield in tandem with a mask protects the mask from becoming

Audrain County Emergency Management Director Nick Tietsort dons one of the new face shields.

wet from droplets or spray, which reduces it effectiveness.”

After receiving word of the shields’ impending arrival, Tietsort had sent an email to almost 100 recipients, individuals and agencies, who might be able to use them. As a result of his  discussions with the Northeast Missouri Workforce Development Board, which he said had received the shields as a donation from the United Way of St. Louis, It said in part, “If you are in need of face shields please let me know. I don’t want these sitting in boxes, so please only request what will be used.”

Among those Tietsort said hoped to see employing the shields are:

  • health care workers
  • school cafeteria workers
  • educators
  • EMS workers
  • child-care professionals

Steve Hobbs, Audrain County presiding commissioner said the department’s acquisition is a timely one.

“We, the county commissioners, are really pleased the Emergency Management Department and Nick were successful in the shields at this time. PPE has been kind of hard to come by for some of the agencies. It’s a good thing for us to get and be able to provide this kind of support.”

Tietsort described the shields as another tool in the fight against the pandemic. “It is something else we can  use to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Tietsort said he hoped to see COVID-19 vaccinations available for distribution in the area by the spring of 2021.