By Patrick Yost
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office implemented two new programs this week to aid homebound citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.
The department will now utilize deputies to pickup and deliver prescription medications for residents who are required to stay at home. According to Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley, the concept came from Deputy Brandy Newsome who approached the sheriff with the idea that deputies could help people who cannot leave their homes.
“She brought it forward as a way we could aid the community,” Markley said.
The department also, on Monday, started an “Are You OK” program where administrative staff will call elderly people daily to check on their health and safety if the person does not have friends for family close by. That program, administered by staff members Whitney Robinson, Stephanie Mitchell and Olivia Laborn, will call citizens who are forced to be shut-in by the pandemic. Markley said if the phone call is not answered, the sheriff’s office will send a deputy to the person’s house to check on their health and safety.
“It gives the employees in the office the opportunity to make a difference,” he said.
Markley said both programs would not interfere with deputies’ response times to crisis calls and that the deliveries and welfare checks would be done when road officers are in a “down” period.
The prescription medication delivery, he said, was a way to keep participants both healthy and safe. “The point is to get people who are homebound the ability to receive their prescriptions without putting themselves at risk.”
The deliveries will be made Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m and 6 p.m. To participate in the program, citizens must notify their pharmacy that a deputy will be picking up their medicine after it is prepaid.
To participate in either program, call the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 342-1507. To participate in the “Are You OK” program, participants will need to give the office an address, phone number, contact information for an emergency key holder and a description of what type of vehicles should be present at the residence.