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MEDIA ADVISORY: DOH-PINELLAS BIOHAZARD EXERCISE, MARCH 23

By Maggie Hall, PIO - Contact Number: 727-824-6908

March 21, 2016

*** Media who wish to attend should contact Maggie Hall for staging and set-up instructions***

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) will participate in an exercise on Wednesday, March 23, to test its readiness for a biohazard event. “Operation Bad Break” is a Point of Dispensing (POD) full-scale exercise that will involve an aerosolized anthrax attack to Pinellas County during spring break rush. This event will lead DOH-Pinellas to open a POD to mass dispense antibiotics to all affected residents and visitors.

The “Operation Bad Break” exercise will take place at Pinellas Park High School, 6305 118th Ave. N., Largo, beginning at 7:30 AM. In addition to DOH-Pinellas staff, participants will include students from the school’s First Responders magnet program, Pinellas County Medical Reserve Corps, Pinellas County Human Services, Pinellas County School Board, and local police, fire and emergency management departments.

This public health exercise assists DOH-Pinellas with training for roles and responsibilities during an event where mass dispensing is needed. Participants will test their current policies and procedures, help determine needs and capabilities while working with fellow private and public partnerships.

Disaster exercises are crucial as they give real-time learning for emergency activation plans which detail emergency response, in coordination with partner agencies, before, during, and immediately after an emergency or disaster situation.

For information about DOH-Pinellas, go to www.PinellasHealth.com or call (727) 824-6900.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county
and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.