At the November 17 Nodaway County Health Department board meeting, it was approved for Administrator Tom Patterson to hire extra COVID help and/or a third party contact tracer if needed.

The COVID-19 planner position is ending in December. It was a one-year position. Patterson is looking into combining WIC with a community nutrition position.

In the health education report, Suzanne Von Behren, RN, BSN, mentioned she is spending most of her time on COVID contact tracing and flu and COVID immunizations.

The health board will have one position open for the April 5, 2022, election. Filing will take place from Tuesday, December 7 through Tuesday, December 28 at the health department during open hours.

Patterson reported COVID-19 positivity rates had increased significantly. Nodaway County is considered a hot spot. The mass Pfizer booster clinic at the Northwest Hughes Fieldhouse saw approximately 460 participants.

The current vaccine rate is 43.6 percent in Nodaway County. It is in the upper portion of rural counties on the vaccination rate but urban areas have a higher rate.

Demand for flu vaccinations has seemed normal to good, Patterson said. State reports in this early stage describe flu cases as sporadic.

“We are working to provide support and guidance for COVID to the public and partners where we can with COVID contact tracing and testing,” Patterson said. “Our current COVID messaging is focused on precautions, encouraging vaccinations and providing situational updates. We are incorporating seasonal messaging as well to try to cover those topics where we can.”