The Marshall County Board of Health held its first assembly of the 12 months Tuesday, and COVID-19 mitigation will as soon as once more stay a key focus for the general public health division.
County Public Health Director Pat Thompson addressed the division’s preparedness and response to the virus, because it has now been virtually two years because the first wave resulted in widespread lockdowns throughout the United States.
Thompson mentioned the supply, logging and storage of COVID vaccines proceed to take up a lion’s share of her duties nowadays.
“As we go through this pandemic and maybe endemic as it goes, storage will still be important,” she mentioned. “My job is to order the vaccines and look at what the county needs for the next two weeks.”
She famous forecasting the extent of want for vaccines will be scary as numbers begin to spike. The division has Pfizer vaccines for adults and adolescents together with Moderna and Johnson and Johnson doses, and vaccine doses are saved in an ultra-cold storage freezer on the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office.
Thompson has been assembly weekly with a workforce she known as vaccine companions, together with representatives from UnityPoint, McFarland, Hy-Vee and JBS. Marshall County Emergency Management Director Kim Elder and Board of Health Chairman Dr. Ken Lyons additionally take part within the conferences.
Together, they talk about vaccine availability among the many totally different entities in cost of administering the pictures. This method, Thompson is aware of the place doses are wanted.
Elder mentioned long run care services are beginning to run low on COVID testing kits. She delivered extra kits to space services final week to assist sustain with elevated testing and sickness. Thompson mentioned she can also be listening to from many people who find themselves looking for testing kits and steerage.
“I do get a lot of phone calls. They are trying to figure out ‘How do I take care of myself and other people?’” she mentioned.
In different enterprise, Elder gave her report on the emergency administration company. She mentioned throughout a convention name amongst state companies on Monday, there was dialogue of offering EMS education to highschool college students. This is an initiative Elder has supported as a approach to get youthful individuals concerned as both volunteers or paid EMS workers.
“I have been pushing for schools to look at recognizing the EMT program for their students who take continuing education through college,” she mentioned. “It would really benefit us to get those as a class that students can take.”
Elder mentioned there are two issues inflicting EMT shortages: a scarcity of funding and a scarcity of volunteers.
“Smaller units and agencies can’t find anyone to hire on staff, just like anyone else. If they do find someone to hire, they can’t afford to keep them,” she mentioned. “We see that here at the hospital. They are going to bigger, better and better paying. It’s expensive for someone to volunteer to pay for their own classes.”
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