The Nodaway County Health Department Board of Directors met March 16 to discuss the following business.

Administrator Tom Patterson said with the number of COVID-19 cases decreasing, the health department would go from daily reports to weekly reports starting the end of March. He will talk to Northwest Missouri State University about updating the online dashboard on a weekly basis instead of a daily one. The advertisements in the local newspapers will remain once a week through March and the continuance will be reviewed in April.

With the current health department auditor retiring, Patterson had asked for bids. He received two bids, both costing more than the previous auditor.

From Clifton Larson Allen, St. Joseph, the bid was for $15,593. Stopp & VanHoy, St. Louis, bid $10,500. It gave two health departments for which it had conducted audits.

Both companies were bidding to complete the 2020 and 2021 audits. The board gave Patterson permission to check with those health departments, and if he is happy with the references, to go ahead to select Stopp & VanHoy. The company has slotted the health department to begin in March and April with the presentation to the board by June 15 and issue the audit by June 30.

With the drop in COVID cases, Patterson plans to not renew the contract with Agile Government Services, the company used for COVID-19 contact tracing.

In the February communicable disease report, there were 317 COVID cases, 88 cases of influenza A and two cases of influenza B.

“COVID-19 cases have dropped to one or two a day for the last week,” Patterson said. “I anticipate we might start hearing about downgrading the pandemic in the near future, although there is some concern about a spike on the horizon. Hopefully, we are in better shape now if that occurs.

“Flu in Missouri is described as ‘regional,’” he said. “I interpret this to mean some areas are seeing more than others, rather than widespread even numbers. Flu numbers are also tailing off from pre-2021 years.”

Board President Marlin Kinman requested the terms of the board members. Kinman’s term ends in 2022 and is the only one running for his term, so will renew in April for four years to 2026. Debi Derr’s term ends in 2023 and Charlotte Knorr, Bridget Kenny and Debra Hull’s terms end in 2024.