At the February 18 Nodaway County Health Center Board of Directors meeting, Board President Marlin Kinman and Treasurer Charlotte Knorr said they wanted to see how much of the health center’s budget was being used for COVID-19 tasks.

Administrator Tom Patterson said the amounts were intertwined across several expense categories and would take hours to rework the budget. Both Kinman and Knorr said it was unnecessary to include the figures in the monthly budget review but if a summary of estimated expenses could be included in the administrator’s report each month it would give them a better grasp on the situation.

Patterson said the health center is coordinating with other agencies to get information to shut-ins about the COVID-19 vaccinations. He said it was important for friends, family and neighbors to assist in getting those isolated individuals who want vaccinations signed up and to the vaccination clinics. The health center will do whatever it can to assist.

“COVID-19 cases numbers continue to be low,” Patterson said. “The state has trended toward lower case numbers for a while now. Flu is still very minimal and will likely remain so until the end of the season in April. The precautions for COVID seem to have been very effective against the flu.

“It feels like were are on the backside of these first three tier groups as demand has dropped significantly,” Patterson said about the vaccine clinics. “With our partners Mosaic and Northwest Missouri State University, our hope is that we can acquire larger allotments again in conjunction with the opening of the next tier, critical infrastructure and essentials workers. Vaccine supplies remain strained and will be the most limiting factor throughout the vaccine campaign.

“Vaccines don’t mean we can stop taking precautions,” Patterson said.

The health center has shifted its focus to vaccination clinics. There is still testing of symptomatic people taking place. Patterson said there could be up to 10 times the number of cases taking into account asymptomatic cases and people who don’t test.

Patterson said the health center is trying to keep Environmental Public Health Specialist Jack Hunsucker as untangled from the COVID-19 duties as possible so that Hunsucker can keep up the necessary inspections for Nodaway and Atchison counties.

The approval of the health center inventory was postponed until the March 17 meeting as the board wanted several items which are no longer used removed from the list.