April 22, 2021

COVID numbers continue to drop

Union County has a 14-day positivity rate of 5% and a 7-day rate of 4%, Emergency Management Director Jo Anne Duckworth said via phone during the weekly Union County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday in the Union County Courthouse.

The local public schools have a combined average of 5.2% 14-day positivity rate.

Duckworth said this is a “big drop” from last week.

Union County has had 1,169 total positive cases with 31 deaths and 1,068 patients recovered, leaving 70 active cases — down 30 from last week.

According to the Iowa COVID-19 analysis site, 330,431 Iowans have tested positive, 305,271 individuals have recovered and 5,263 deaths have been recorded in the state.

The county is having no trouble meeting the state goal of using 80% of its received vaccines each week and so should have no trouble continuing to receive its allotment of 200 doses per week. Counties that do not meet this goal are subject to a reduction or loss of their next shipment of doses.

Duckworth said a vaccine clinic is scheduled for Thursday and school staff will be receiving vaccines Friday.

In other county business:

• the supervisors approved a transfer of an additional $10,000 into the Child Welfare Decategorization Project to support families who use county services. This a pass through grant; the funds are coming from Polk County. Jocelyn Blazek said Polk County has been helping support those families already.

• the board approved the purchase of a Western snow blade from Big Boys Toyz at a cost of $6,350 for secondary roads. Although the lowest bid was $6,020 from Midwest Wheel, the cost of transporting the vehicle to Des Moines and back to have the blade installed would cost approximately $1,000 in fuel and employee time Al Hysell, secondary roads superintendent, said.

• the board discussed, but ultimately decided against, increasing the allowed accrual of comp time for secondary roads workers to 80 hours instead of the current 60 hours.

The Union County Board of Supervisors meets weekly 9 a.m. Monday at the Union County Courthouse, 300 N. Pine St. The supervisors are still meeting in person at this time, but the public is encouraged to submit comments for public forum by mail, email or telephone to help limit the gathering to 10 participants.

REGINA SMITH

Reporter, columnist, teacher, children's book author, book store owner - Regina Smith has a wide range of experience in writing and education. She combines those interests and experiences to cover city and county government and human interest stories as well as writing a biweekly column in her home town of Creston, Iowa.