Thursday afternoon at the Carson City Board of Supervisors the Carson City Board of Health convened and provided an update on the Health Officer’s Report, and engagement with the Carson City Health and Human Services (CCHHS) Department.
According to the Carson City Health Officer, Dr. Susan Pintar, immunization rates have been falling since the COVID-19 shut down, some places in the country as much as 40 percent, due to the fear of seeking medical help during the time of COVID-19.
Roni Galas, Clinical Services Manager for CCHHS, stated that all children in the Carson City School District need to be vaccinated, regardless of the COVID-19 shutdown.
“Vaccines are necessary to be up to date by the first day of school or that child will be excluded,” said Galas.
This is regardless of how the child is learning, whether in person, at home, or in a hybrid lesson form.
“Outbreaks of preventable diseases such as whooping cough could overwhelm the already stressed health care system,” said Galas.
The health clinic is open every Thursday for vaccines, and beginning on August 3 through August 17 (the first day of school) hours will be extended Monday through Friday for vaccines, as well as regular services.
“No one will be turned away for an inability to pay due to a recent loss of insurance,” said Galas.
Carson City Health and Human Services Director Nicki Aaker gave an update to the Carson City Board of Supervisors.
A $125,000 grant is to be awarded to Carson City Health and Human Services to hire temporary contracted employees funded through the next 17 months.
Additionally, some of the grant will be awarded to increasing education and resources directed at youths to reduce the use of vaping products, according to Aaker.
Beginning July 27 the call center will no longer be operational on Saturdays, after a marked decrease in weekend calls, which will help with staffing during the week, said Aaker.
So far, 7,784 people have been tested for COVID-19 at the drive-thru testings hosted by CCHHS. 714 asymptomatic testing have been tested at Carson City Health and Human Services. 3,778 have been tested through community based testing. 1,492 members and staff of long-term care facilities have been tested.
Over 16,383 tests total have been done within the Quad-County by Carson City Health and Human Services alone, according to the state’s website.
CCHHS Division manager Dustin Booth stated that in the Quad County there have been 479 positive cases since testing begin. Over 50 percent were community spread. Household spread was at 30 percent, and work-site spread was at 15 percent.
The Quad-County is averaging 10 new positive cases per day. A month ago, it was 4 cases per day.
For Carson City alone, there have been 230 positive cases cases. 53 percent had no contacts to other cases, meaning they were community spread. The average for Carson City is 6 cases per day, which was at 2 cases per day a month ago.
Booth stated that the positivity rate for the Quad County is unknown because the raw data is “too raw,” due to testing results coming into the department from multiple sources, and while some are electronic, others are coming through paper reports, which is causing a backlog. Additionally, information is also coming from other states, adding to the bulk of information.
“I think it would be helpful to know that information,” said Mayor Bob Crowell.
“I think we can understand that our cases have doubled in the last month,” said Dr. Pintar. “We know there have been requests for more information.”
Supervisor Stacey Giomi asked whether or not people were failing to report their data to Health and Human Services, and Booth stated that the data simply needs to be cleaned up.
“If the data is that difficult to read, are we missing cases?” asked Giomi.
“In our electronic systems I would say no,” said Booth. “In our paper responses there possibly is a delay.”
Giomi suggested the city should hire another person to help go through that data, since a coronavirus grant is going to be coming in to the city to provide for temporary staffing.
“People are hungry for information,” said Crowell. “And when they don’t get it, they start making it up themselves.”
Crowell suggested more information be released to the public so conspiracy theories don’t fill the information gap.
“We know you guys are being bombarded,” said Crowell. “Thank you for what you’re doing.”
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