4-month county health assessment to begin in June
A community health needs assessment for the county will be done June 14 through Oct. 15.
The health department, Hillsboro Community Hospital, and St. Luke Hospital will evenly split the expense of the assessment.
County health administrator Diedre Serene told county commissioners Monday that a health needs assessment has not been conducted since 2013, and it’s time to find out if the county’s health needs have shifted.
Town hall meetings will be held during the third of four assessment phases.
“Things change. There might be something out there we’re overlooking,” commissioner Randy Dallke said.
Serene said the results might be helpful in applying for future grants.
Dallke asked how she had funds to pay for the assessment in the health department budget.
“If it could be paid out of the general fund, I think that would be awesome,” Serene said.
Commissioners voted to pay half from general budget and half from health department budget.
Because the governor’s mask mandate was stricken down by the legislature, commissioners declined to continue a mask mandate.
Dallke said if the county were to re-impose a mandate, he wanted an exemption for people who have been fully vaccinated.
“That’s only 10% of the county,” commissioner David Crofoot answered.
Crofoot asked is Marion County is covered by what we have right now. Spencer said no, we have nothing.
Serene said she thought masks were still a good idea.
“The Hillsboro school district, I know, is going to keep their mask mandate in place until the end of the school year,” Serene said. “I think it’s a small thing that we can do to limit the spread.”
Dallke said he still supported wearing masks in public places.
“If the cases start coming back I’d want to put back the mandate back on,” Dallke said.
Crofoot said commissioners should come out in support of mask-wearing and encourage people to get their shots.
Two roads where railroad cars were put in several years ago to replace bridges will be closed after the state deemed substituting railroad cars cannot be done.
The two roads closed are 300th Rd. between Diamond and Eagle, and 310th Rd. between Bison and Chisholm.