Administrator Tom Patterson reported flu cases and vaccinations are both below normal at the Nodaway County Health Center Board of Trustees meeting, December 9.

The health center has the vaccine available and has been doing clinics at workplaces and schools.

“We are focused on preparing for the COVID-19 vaccines,” Patterson said. “First rollouts should begin within the next two weeks, first to metro areas and later rural.

“We should see some vaccines in our area by the end of December. The first phases will go to narrow priority groups and open up shortly afterward. The first phase criteria will include health and medical workers, long-term care and assisted living type facility staff, and shortly after high risk and elderly.

“The vaccine distribution will be closely managed by a state-wide plan, at least early on,” Patterson said. “Recent updates to quarantine are proving to be challenging as well for many health departments with regard to case management.”

The board approved the hiring of a COVID-19 planner to help with the logistics of the next phase which will include vaccinations, continued education and guidance, and prevention. The planner will develop long-term plans and coordinating efforts. Patterson is hoping to have someone hired by January 2021 for at least a year period with an option to extend.

The board also approved hiring someone to complete the concrete and drainage work around the new concrete. Patterson had planned to do the work in his spare time which he hasn’t had.

The board received a proposed 2021 budget to review before the December 16 meeting when it will be reviewed and approved.

The health center received a $71,000 two-year contract on COVID Core and a $45,000 one-year COVID CRCA contract. Patterson has adjusted the budget to show income designated for COVID.

He explained that showing the amount of money spent on COVID is difficult because the expenses are divided into salaries, utilities, travel, supplies and other areas.

The board approved the purchase of two vaccine coolers. Patterson has received pre-approval from Nodaway County for CARES funding for one cooler. He plans to ask for additional funds for the second cooler.

Board Member Jackie Ross will retire in December. Patterson plans to attend the Nodaway County Commissioners meeting to have Bridget Kenny appointed to serve on the board until the April 2021 election.