At the March 17 Nodaway County Health Center Board of Trustees meeting, Administrator Tom Patterson gave information about COVID and flu.

“COVID-19 positive cases continue to remain lower, with a few days of minor spikes,” Patterson said. “This may be the trend for a while.

“The difference between flu cases this year and last is huge,” he said. “We’ve had a few flu cases recently but numbers remain low, signal digits I believe, for the county. I believe masks and social distancing, push to practice better hygiene and hand washing, and staying home while sick had a major impact.

“Despite rumors to discredit these mitigation efforts from reducing flu, and that lower flu numbers are due to lack of testing this year, there is flu testing going on and, in many instances, simultaneously with COVID-19 testing. Both are respiratory diseases and should be impacted by similar mitigation efforts.”

New board member Deb Hull asked if there were emergency plans being made to handle the next pandemic. Patterson explained since 9/11, emergency planning had been made to accommodate medical and other emergencies. The emergency plan had been utilized for H1N1 but was not used for COVID-19, however the vaccination clinics are using the emergency planning model.

“We continue to work with partners, Mosaic hospital and Northwest Missouri State University, to provide COVID-19 mass clinics at the Hughes Center almost on a weekly basis. Over 5,000 have been administered through these mass clinics and seven clinics completed. If vaccine availability cooperates and if the next phases open in a timely fashion over the next two months that we should be very far along in the vaccine campaign. Currently Nodaway County is at just over 8,000 doses administered, and roughly 22 percent of the population have initiated vaccinations.”

Also in Patterson’s administrator’s report, he outlined the captured costs and income related to COVID-19 from March 2020 to date. Actual funds coming in are $106,352.08 and funds going out are $137,651.64. Patterson said expenses had been billed to existing contracts and the extra COVID-19 duties had taken away from activities the health center would normally have completely.

Nurse Supervisor Tabitha Frank, RN, BSN, has prebooked influenza vaccines for the 2021-22 influenza season. Prebooking allows the health center to make sure vaccines are received.

Health Educator Suzanne Von Behren RN, BSN has slowly resumed blood pressure screenings. She has done a couple of clinics at the Nodaway County Senior Center.

The inventory was approved.

Patterson reorganized the financial report to facilitate the board members understanding. He explained all the health center accounting was done in house. The bi-annual audit helps to streamline applying for contracts with the state.