Commission ready to formally create health department board

Updated: Feb 3

MOUND CITY – Linn County Health Department Director Missy Lancaster met with the Linn County Commissioners on Monday, Jan. 24, to discuss the soon-to-be-formed health advisory board and also report on the health department.

Commission Chair Jim Johnson and Commissioner Rick James both said they had the people chosen for the advisory board from their districts.

“So, can we set a date?” James said. “Jim got this thing going, and it should be good.”

Commissioner Danny McCullough said that he would have his choices ready next week.

Linn County Counselor Gary Thompson said the way board will work is that the commissioners will pass the resolution for the health advisory board, then they will appoint the members to one-, two-, or three-year terms.

Thompson said the staff, Lancaster, will then call a meeting where the members will elect officers and begin to learn about their duties. They will probably meet monthly. Lancaster will keep them posted on issues, but some may come with their own agendas.

The board will save Lancaster some work, because they will look at the details of operations and will take her information and make recommendations to the commissioners about things like hiring a new nurse or applying for a grant. Thompson said they would be the public’s eyes.

Lancaster reported that COVID-19 cases continue to be on the rise. She said that they are doing testing every day. After a person makes an appointment for testing, they are met outside to be given the test.

James asked if people coming in for a flu shot had to be tested. Lancaster said they were screened with questions about symptoms before entering the building.

McCullough asked how the supplies were holding up for the testing machine. Lancaster answered that there were about 700 tests left. She said that the health department had to order new rapid tests, which were free, because the ones they had had expired.

The health department will begin giving COVID-19 vaccines again on Wednesdays when they receive them, Lancaster said. She said they were out of vaccine and had ordered some two weeks ago, but it had not arrived yet.

Johnson asked if there was a shortage statewide. Lancaster said she thought there was.

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