The Maryville City Council studied the state-issued executive order issued with their new Emergency Order #7 during the November 23 meeting.
After a 45-minute COVID-19 workshop where Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville President Nate Blackford spoke virtually to the council, the new order, which is expected to be enacted November 24 speaks to several new COVID-19 recommendations. They address mask wearing, capacity issues and social group size throughout the city.
Blackford noted there are 1,490 positive cases so far in the county, a seven-day positivity rate of 25.45 and a seven day case rate per 100k is at 561.3. This data, which puts Nodaway County in the state’s Extreme Risk category, drove the council’s action to approve the new emergency order. He continued by telling the current average individual hospitalization occurs usually within 10 days the positivity test and most will stay in the local hospital for two days. The Mosaic system-wide has 98 individuals hospitalized.
He continued by talking the hospital’s staff strain concerning the 30 percent of the COVID-19 inpatient census and most who received a positive test in early November. The hospital staff’s positive virus rates are five to 10 percent.
“The impact to the staff is they are weathering the storm through extra shifts and overtime. Staff is holding up well,” said Blackford.
He said with the upcoming season of traditionally more respiratory illnesses, the case number may rise.
Another aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic that is obvious in our healthcare locally, is the mental health issue for several age groups including nursing home residents as well as children and youth.
“Our providers have seen an increase … and what may follow this virus pandemic could be a mental health pandemic that may be equally scary,” said Blackford.
The council listened to the serious information they gained from Blackford and the state’s public health warning. The county’s category one, the highest rank, recommended from the state an action plan including occupancy of retail establishments must be no more than 25 percent of the fire code for buildings 10,000 square feet and 10 percent of retail location with more than 10,000 square feet, masks will be worn by all persons, staff and customers, in the business where social distancing is not possible, and no more than 10 persons in a group for any social gathering excluding religious services, schools and school activities and extended family gatherings.
Enforcement of the order was discussed and Greg McDanel, city manager, described a possible police presence at retail firms to help remind customers of the mandated mask wearing; plus the city’s website could have a complaint tracking feature from the public.
Conversation also addressed adult and youth recreation at such places as Maryville Park and Recreation, dance and gymnastic studios and martial arts schools. It was reported that the Nodaway County Health Department has identified such places as virus spreader locations. The council directed staff to quickly put together a committee of citizens representing the school district and such places to create a plan to slow down the virus spread.
It was noted that if the data sees a decline in positivity rate for two consecutive weeks, the city can move down to Category 2 or even Category 3.
Other business addresssed:
• Appointed Charlie Clodfelter to fill the spot vacated by Tim Conn on the Maryville Park and Recreation Board.
• Adopted an ordinance to amend Chapter 105 for city council meetings, sometimes using videoconference technology with a specific reference to a public health crisis, to bring city code up to today’s standards. It also allows council meetings to begin at 6 pm as council and staff have desired.
• Authorized a contract with KS State Bank Baystone Government Finance for the continued lease/purchase of a Takeuchi TB280FR Mini Excavator at a cost of $1,318.80 per month.
City Manager Greg McDanel reported there have been six vendors bid on the city’s new aerial fire truck and he expects to present those at the next council meeting and he will also report on the most recent water taste and smell quality issues with the treatment plant using the highest level of charcoal filtration.
Councilwoman Rachael Martin told she has been pleased with her local shopping experiences where merchants are easy to work with on the purchase of items with little contact of personnel.
The council went into closed session for two personnel issues.