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Lyon County Board of Public Health meeting discusses county health order Wednesday Featured

By September 16, 2020 267
Lyon County Board of Public Health meeting discusses county health order Wednesday Tagan Trahoon/KVOE News

With Lyon County's current public health order set to expire Friday, the Lyon County Board of Public Health met Wednesday morning to discuss the topic.

The board, made up of Lyon County Commissioners, spoke with local professionals from Lyon County Public Health and Newman Regional Health as they work to draft a new order. The discussions included the latest COVID related data as well as a look at operations both at Flint Hills Community Health Center and Newman.

The board also reviewed a financial report drafted by Lyon County Controller Dan Williams that estimated the county has already invested over $271,000 in operational costs for Public Health. It is estimated that by the end of the year that cost could rise to over $572,000.

For the most part, the county has been able to utilize federal relief dollars to offset those costs, however, come next year the county may have to do some financial reviews depending on the availability of federal funding.

Discussions also focused on mitigation strategies throughout the county, a topic that Lyon County Commission Chairman Rollie Martin says is the key to keeping the community safe. This includes good hand hygiene, social distancing and specifically mask usage, which has been a hot topic of conversation since the onset of the pandemic.

Wednesday's conversations come as Emporia City Commissioners are poised to renew their city-wide mask mandate Wednesday evening. On numerous occasions in recent months, the county has stated while they support the city's actions, the county is unlikely to duplicate them.

At this time the county is "strongly recommending" mask usage and Martin says that recommendation is not likely to change. Public Health Emergency Preparedness Director Jennifer Millbern says she personally would like to see consistency between both the city and county.

 

Martin says while the county and city do not specifically see eye-to-eye on mask mandates, they are both dedicated to protecting the general well-being of the community.

 

Commissioner Scott Briggs agreed with this sentiment and also stated that he feels the topic of mask usage has created a large sense of divisiveness throughout the community. He feels if the county were to mandate mask usage, that divisiveness would only intensify.

No action was taken by the Board of Health Wednesday, however, Lyon County Commissioners are expected to issue a new order during their regular meeting Thursday morning.

That meeting will begin at 9 am inside the Lyon County Courthouse.

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