ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Belmont County Well being Division is trying to fill a number of positions because it prepares to tackle further obligations.
Amongst these to be employed is a contact tracer to get in contact with individuals who might need been uncovered to COVID-19.
For months, the state has been contracting with public consulting group PCG to deal with contact tracing of latest COVID-19 circumstances. Belmont County Well being Division Deputy Commissioner Robert Sproul mentioned this contract is ending and phone tracing will fall to county departments.
“As quickly as PCG stops, will probably be again on us, so we can be liable for coping with that. We’re nonetheless understanding the small print of that. We’re ready to see precisely what that appears like for us.” Sproul mentioned.
Nevertheless, Sproul mentioned that whereas the job title could be the identical, the scope of the job can be narrower in comparison with duties in the course of the peak of the pandemic, when contact tracers would make contact with anybody who might need been uncovered. to the virus each time a brand new case of COVID-19 could be reported. The tracker would focus solely on circumstances amongst weak populations.
“It should be the congregate services and hospitalizations, that is the place we will focus,” Sproul mentioned. “There’s a new grant (from the state) to assist with that (place).”
He mentioned the division can be completely different grant packages.
“Our numbers stay low and there are not any hospitalizations as of in the present day, and once more our deaths haven’t budged. We glance fairly good, and I hope it continues.” he mentioned. There is no such thing as a monkeypox in Belmont County. There was just one case in Ohio. So long as we maintain that path, we’re high-quality.”
Sproul mentioned extra personnel modifications are within the works, with a seek for 5 new workers members not counting the contact tracer place. He mentioned workers members are retiring or transferring on to different jobs. These embrace a medical assistant, a secretary, a fiscal assistant, a grants officer, and a place within the important statistics division.
“We’re interviewing and we hope to fill these spots and maintain transferring ahead.” he mentioned. “A few of them (left), that is the issue once you put a two-week discover. By the point you put up, interview, it is type of arduous as a result of they’ve moved on and also you lose that have and data since you walked out the door and also you’re coaching a brand new individual.”
Discussions proceed with the Belmont County Board of County Commissioners about the opportunity of a brand new, bigger well being division constructing, with extra parking and house for division actions.
“That will be nice,” Sproul mentioned. “It seems to be like he is nonetheless transferring ahead, which is nice. With all the things in authorities it takes time and it’s a course of.”
Sproul and county leaders have mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the significance of the well being division’s work, and whereas the constructing is ample, there have been difficulties dealing with tensions that arose in the course of the pandemic.