Sep 13, 2022
LISBON — The Columbiana County Health District Advisory Council failed to reach quorum Monday, but those officials who did show up heard an update on health district activities, including the latest COVID-19 numbers.
Out of 29 members representing each township and village served by the health district, along with one county commissioner, only 14 attended the special meeting called to confirm the contract for services between the city of Columbiana and the county health district. That was one short of quorum, so no vote could be taken on the contract.
The meeting has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at the health department, 7360 state Route 45.
County Health Commissioner Wes Vins used the opportunity to share some information, showing a graph and numbers for 2022 COVID-19 cases in the county. From Jan. 1 through Sept. 8, the total number of cases was 7,553, the total number of hospitalizations was 156 and the total number of deaths was 78. The graph showed that the higher numbers were in January, and then the numbers dropped.
In the past 30 days, from Aug. 8 to Sept. 8, the number of COVID-19 cases was 774, the number of hospitalizations was 13 and there was only one death.
“We know there’s a lot of testing going on that’s not being reported,” Vins said.
The health department has free test kits available. There’s also an upcoming clinic for primary and booster COVID vaccine and the flu vaccine. Details will be announced Wednesday.
For other local public health updates, Vins said there are no cases of monkey pox in the county and there’s no vaccine available in the county for monkey pox.
There’s been a decrease in vaccinations being sought for back to school, partially because he thinks people got out of the habit due to the pandemic, but the health department has back to school vaccines available for anyone who needs them.
He noted dog kennel waste is to be landfilled, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. In a dog and cat matter, he announced there’s a rabies vaccine clinic being hosted by the department Oct. 8 at the county career and technical center. Dogs and cats must be on a leash.
Vins said the health department has been collecting mosquitoes and testing for West Nile virus and it’s been detected in the county. Powassan virus had its first detection in Ohio in the county, but testing of ticks collected came up negative for Powassan and positive for several strains of Lyme disease.
Vins encouraged residents to protect themselves against both West Nile and Lyme disease. Tips regarding mosquitoes and ticks can be found on the district website at columbiana-health.org, along with the results of the recent Community Health Assessment.
Before the meeting, the plaque presented to the now accredited county health district was passed around the room for trustees to see.
“We’re really proud of our accreditation award. A lot of work went into that,” Vins said.
For the last slide in the presentation, he showed a chart describing the cost per resident for the county health district and other local health districts in the area, including the cities of Salem and East Liverpool. For the county, the amount of inside tax millage amounted to $383,000 in 2021. That’s the tax money used for health district general fund operations, not counting any grants. For the county, the cost per resident equals $5.06 based on a population figure of 101,877.
“I think we’ve got a pretty good value here in Columbiana County,” he said, adding the dollars are “very cost effective.”
According to the chart, for Salem, with a population of 11,915 and inside tax millage of $61,515, the cost per resident equals $5.16. For East Liverpool, with a population of 9,958 and inside tax millage of $122,904, the cost per resident equals $12.34.
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