A look inside the ‘brain’ of the Inland Northwest’s COVID-19 operations

SPOKANE, Wash.– It takes an army to handle a pandemic like COVID-19, and that army works a lot better under one roof.

The fire training facility at 1618 N. Rebecca Street is operating as an emergency command center for all of the local cities and agencies in the Inland Northwest.

Recent decisions like school closures or banning large gatherings come from the several agencies operating as one in that building.

They have teams sectioned off in rooms, some forecasting the outlook of coronavirus in terms of one day, three days, or one week.

“Everybody owns a piece of it, and not one agency or entity has all the answers or has all the resources,” Emergency Command Director, Chandra Fox said.

The officials are always preparing for an emergency, but this pandemic is unknown territory for just about everyone.

“What I struggled with in the beginning was really trying to get my hands around all of the parts and pieces,” Fox said.

Fox says the domino effect of this pandemic is worse than other natural disasters.

The stay home order not only leaves an impact on schools, but a large part of the economy too.

The end goal is simple, though– get back to reality.

“We want to have the larger community, even if they’re not comfortable, but they’re at least stable,” Fox said.

The last time the region had to come together using that building was the wind storm in 2015.

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