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Rundown of Beaverhead County Board of Health Meeting for 11/23/2020

With the drama and tension from a few days ago many tuned into the Beaverhead County Health Boards long overdue meeting on Wednesday, Nov 23. With the mayor coming in having the power to remove the City of Dillon from the board tensions seemed to be high.

The meeting started out with Beaverhead Public Health nurse Sue Hanson giving a breakdown of the current COVID numbers in Beaverhead County. They are as follows:

  • Averaging 20 Cases/day

  • 563 Total Cases in Beaverhead County that is 6% of our population, 1% of the state’s population

  • 95 Active cases

  • 20 total hospitalizations with 3 current

  • Last 2 weeks they have tested 500 people

The board next reviewed the Governors new restrictions put in place, Sheriff Paul Craft discussed how they have tried to educate businesses on the mask mandate and as far as the mask mandate goes they have no way to enforce it. This can be seen around the 12 min mark on the accompanying video.

Next a presentation by Dr Charlotte Quist starting at the 17 Min mark. This presentation shows why mask work the effectiveness of them and the way the COVID virus is transmitted. The presentation has slides and opened up a discussion on other published articles and the ever-changing facts of COVID.

1 Hour 3 min mark opens the floor to questions from people via Zoom. This lead to the discussion of ways to enforce the mask mandate, Sheriff Craft stated as a business you can ask customers to wear a mask, if they refuse to you can ask them to leave, if the person becomes hostile you can have them trespassed.

At the 1 Hour 55 Min mark Pioneer Care had an update on the nursing home, they have been negative for COVID they have had only one staff member test positive in Oct. They are taking new residents with special precautions. Two-week quarantines and multiple tests for COVID before they are allowed with the other residents.

1 Hour 57 Min mark discussion involving isolation vs quarantine. Mayor Klakken had questions on what the difference is and why he has a few problems with it. Main problem was if you become a contact case you are not given information on who may have exposed you. Sue Hanson said many people give consent that they can say who it is but if they do not, they cannot give out names because of HIPPA.

2 Hour 28 Min mark they begin discussing ways to reach out and educate the public with mask usage as well as more data on CORONA virus. Many members believe this is something that needs to be put out ASAP, this has been one thing lacking during these times.

Overall, this has been one of the most productive health board meetings we have streamed. It was nice to see people put their differences aside and discuss in a civil manner opposing views and come together for a common goal. The next meeting is scheduled for 12/07/2020 at 2 P.M.

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