Clinton County Health District awarded $200,000


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Clinton County Environmental Health Director Matt Johannes with the Clinton County Health District speaks at Monday’s meeting.

Clinton County Environmental Health Director Matt Johannes with the Clinton County Health District speaks at Monday’s meeting.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Health District (CCHD) recently was awarded an additional $200,000 of CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) funds by the state controlling board.

A wrinkle, if you will, is it has to be spent by the end of the year, said Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Bauer at Monday’s regular monthly meeting of the county board of health.

Some of the dollars are going toward the online SurveyMonkey service to streamline some of the Clinton County Health Department’s COVID-19 related disease investigation and contact tracing processes.

A recent upswing of COVID in Clinton County has the health department staff overrun with cases, and it takes time to investigate those cases and do the contact tracing meant to help curb the spread.

“Using that SurveyMonkey technology will help us kind of adjust,” Bauer said.

Instead of repeated unanswered and unreturned phone calls seeking interviews, the health department will turn to the electronic SurveyMonkey tool via the post office or email, she said.

Tansy Bernard with the Clinton County Health Department reported Monday that a local person who used the SurveyMonkey to respond to the health district’s questions said it was quick and easy.

Senior citizens, for their part, tend to answer their phone when it rings, it was noted at the meeting.

The grant dollars also will go to reimbursing personnel, purchasing a copier, paper, postage, and so on for contact tracing, personal protective equipment and other equipment.

Bauer announced that as of Monday morning, there have been a cumulative total of 1,057 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in Clinton County. That’s 44 more cases than were reported at day’s end on the prior Thursday.

The health commissioner said, “We are currently investigating two new clusters or outbreaks, one associated with a long-term care facility in Sabina, and one with a workplace here in Wilmington.”

The over-stretched health department staff recently had a mental health debriefing and training online, reminding them to take care of themselves, reported Bauer.

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Director Renee Quallen with the health department said she found it to be very beneficial.

“And I think we do as a staff really do try to take care of each other, try to cook for each other, brings some things in sometimes, reach out to each other, send each other messaging, and that sort of thing. And that’s a really great environment to be in during something like this,” added Quallen.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Clinton County Environmental Health Director Matt Johannes with the Clinton County Health District speaks at Monday’s meeting.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/11/web1_johannes.jpgClinton County Environmental Health Director Matt Johannes with the Clinton County Health District speaks at Monday’s meeting. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com