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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County health department director outlines fall services

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

By Charlene Sims, Journal staff

MOUND CITY – On Monday, Sept. 11, the Linn County Commissioners heard a report from the county health department including flu shot clinic information, COVID updates and vaccination availability, and other activities.

Linn County Health Department Director Amanda Snyder reported that she had run the numbers of people served, and from January to March 738 people were served. After she became director in April through last week, 1,370 people have been served.

Snyder said that September is National Preparedness Month. She said residents could go to the Linn County Health Department page on Facebook to get more information on being prepared for emergencies.

Flu vaccinations

• The health department is kicking off the flu vaccination season with drive-through clinics at the health department and other locations across the county.

On Friday, Oct. 6, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be a drive-through clinic at the health department and also on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. to noon. The health department is located in Pleasanton at 11240 Tucker Road, just north of Casey's.

She said that flu shots will also be given as a walk-in service option all day on Wednesdays. People can walk in or use the drive-through lane at the department.

Snyder said that flu shot clinics would also be scheduled at senior sites, cities, schools and other large employers. Because of this, walk-in services except on Wednesdays will be limited if the nurses are out at the countywide clinics

COVID boosters and tests

• Snyder reported that COVID testing has increased a little as well as inquiries about COVID protocol information.

In a separate phone conversation, she said that while she did not have an exact date, the new COVID boosters should be available at the health department soon. They will be Moderna vaccines and, for now, will be free to the public.

Her department recommends that people follow the CDC guidelines if they are exposed. The county does not route the cases to the state any more since the state and federal governments have declared the pandemic as being over.

The CDC guidelines are:

• No guidelines for just an exposure

• If you have a positive test, it is recommended that you stay home for five days and after that wear a mask for five days in the public.

Snyder said that the health department still has some home test kits available and they are free for people to pick up.

In other news:

• Snyder reported that her staff has enjoyed providing services to the inmates at the jail. She told the commissioners that the nurse manager was able to proved diabetes education to the jail staff to assist with meal preparation for an inmate newly diagnosed with diabetes.

• Snyder reported that she and the other nurse, Vicki Victor-Baru, will be attending the Kansas Breastfeeding Conference next month. They are both going to start working toward their lactation consultant credentials. She said that the Workforce Development Grant that they received will pay for that training.

• Snyder told the commissioners that she did not receive any bids from the advertisement for the classroom renovation at the health department and asked to permission to advertise in Miami and Bourbon counties. The commissioners agreed.

• Snyder brought information to the commissioners about a request from the Jayhawk USD 346. She said that they had inquired if the health department could provide a nurse to dispense medications if there ever was a situation where both of their nurses were gone. Snyder said it would be a nice service to offer.

Snyder explained that the school district was trying to get its emergency plan in place if that situation ever occurred. The nurse would be needed from 8 a.m. to noon to dispense medications to students.

Commissioner Jim Johnson said that he knew that Prairie View had two nurses but don’t have one at every building so why does Jayhawk need this.

Snyder replied that she did not know about the other school districts’ protocols.

Johnson said that he personally did not think that the county needed to step off into the school’s business.

“They need to take care of it themselves,” said Johnson.

Commissioner Jason Hightower said he would like information on how the other school districts handled it and what liability the county would have by doing it. Snyder will get that information.

• Snyder reported that the health department board will meet on Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. People can attend in person or by Zoom.

• Snyder then asked for clarification on how often they wanted her to attend commission meetings. She asked if they wanted her at the meetings monthly or weekly.

Hightower said he thought monthly was sufficient.

Johnson said all the other departments come weekly why should the health department be different.

Snyder said that while she would be happy to come weekly, it did go into the time that she could spend with clients. She explained that she not only wore many hats at the health department, but she still saw clients regularly. She expressed concern that coming to the meeting sometimes took as much as two hours out of her Monday mornings, and if that was the time a client could see her, she wanted to be able to see them then.

Johnson told Snyder that if the commission could start getting the numbers monthly and how many services each month then he thought it would be okay if she came monthly.

Commission Chair Danny McCullough asked her to use the time when she came to announce the events that were upcoming for the live streaming camera so the public would be able to see.

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