Points of Dispensing (PODs)

Working to keep Washington County safe

In some health emergencies, the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment may need to dispense medication to residents through an Open or Closed Point of Dispensing (POD). Accurate and up-to-date information will be shared by staff, in collaboration with state and local partners about the emergency.

Purpose of an Open POD

The private health care system is often busy taking care of those who are most ill. The public health department helps doctors in clinics and hospitals by dispensing medicine to healthy people to prevent illness. Public health will provide information about when and where to report to a POD on our website, via social media, radio, television and newspaper.  

Who can come to an Open POD

Anyone who is not showing symptoms of illness within Washington County can come to a POD to receive medicine regardless of citizenship status or age. You do not need identification to pick up medication for yourself or family members, and family members do not all need to be present to get medication. If you are showing symptoms of sickness, you will be asked to go to your regular clinic for treatment. 

What is a Closed POD?

A closed POD is a location operated by a private organization that distributes medicine or medical supplies to a specific group of people, such as that organization’s staff, staff family members, and/or clients. Clients can include residential clients, patients of a medical facility, guests at a hotel, students, parishioners, inmates, etc. Closed PODs are NOT open to the public at-large and they cannot charge for the medication they provide.

Being a Closed POD is beneficial in several ways. It is expected that in an emergency, medical providers, such as hospitals and clinics, will be overwhelmed. Closed PODs offer the ability to directly receive medication that will allow for continuity of business as well as minimize the impact of the public health emergency on staff, their families, and your clients. Close PODs offer a level of safety and security customized to meet your organization’s needs. If you are interested in becoming a Closed POD, email 
Angela.Eastman@co.washington.mn.us for more information.