Improved health conditions coming

Jinadu says a return to normality is in sight

Dr. Babatunde Jinadu, Ector County’s health authority, told commissioners Tuesday that the county “has come a long way and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel” in recovering from the pandemic.

Jinadu said the health department has worked hard, infection rates have come down and there are fewer hospitalizations, which are indicative “of how the community is doing.”

The report details that as of April 27 that Ector County has had 16,998 cases and 366 deaths. In Texas, the count shows 2,878,438 cases and 49,967 deaths.

Senior Centers Director Donna Greaves said senior citizens are eager for the centers to reopen after closures of more than a year and she won approval of a $3,945 appropriation from federal CARES Act money to buy food containers, silverware and other supplies.

Greaves said some seniors don’t want to wear masks, but they need the socialization and sense of purpose that regular participation at a center provide. “Most of our seniors have had the vaccine,” she said.

“They’re having a hard time from being closed in for so long.”

Greaves agreed with Judge Debi Hays to consult with senior centers in 17 area counties, six of which have reopened.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Gardner was absent at the 10 a.m. meeting in the administration building at 1010 E. Eighth St.

The court moved to put air conditioning and lighting in the district clerk’s new storage area and to install lighting in the district attorney’s storage space in the old jail area at the downtown courthouse while specifying that a grant should be sought for the expected $40,000 project.

After a presentation by Treasurer Cleopatra Callaway, commissioners voted to redesignate Prosperity Bank as the county’s depository from July 1 through June 30, 2025.

In other business, commissioners voted to let JSA Architects write specifications for repairs at the White-Pool House Museum and Barn at 112 E. Murphy St. to meet Texas Historical Commission guidelines.

The court also:

  • Heard County Agent Steve Paz report that 220 people volunteered 12,000 hours last year to Extension Service programs including the 4-H Club and horticulture projects.
  • Accepted two 30-yard rural trash containers from Mirror Image Detail & Polishing.
  • Accepted $500 from the Law Enforcement Partners group for the sheriff’s office.
  • Decided to seek accreditation of the county library from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
  • Transferred $100,000 from contract services to equipment rental in the highways and streets department.
  • Allocated $100,000 for motor vehicle maintenance and repairs and insurance settlements.