• August 9, 2020

Health department staff doubled - Odessa American: Ector County

e-Edition Subscribe

Health department staff doubled

Commissioners OK initiative to help deal with COVID-19

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 3:01 pm

Ector County commissioners Tuesday approved a big beefing-up of the county health department in an effort to push the COVID-19 pandemic into the category of unpleasant history.

Granting a request by Health Department Director Brandy Garcia and Dr. B.A. Jinadu, the local health authority who helps supervise the department, the court authorized them to hire 15 temporary data entry, case investigation and contact tracing workers to bolster the 15-person crew that’s already in place.

Commissioners said the initiative was also a good idea because they have till the end of the year to spend the $2.6 million the county was just awarded under the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.

Garcia reported that 20 new COVID-19 cases had been discovered since late last week, “15 confirmed and five probable.”

County Judge Debi Hays asked if some of those were with people who’d been traveling and Garcia said they had mostly been to places like Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio.

“I think we need to get ahead of the curve,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Eddy Shelton.

In other business, U.S. Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Charlene McBride of Midland said the 2020 count is in full swing with Ector County falling well short of the ideal.

McBride said 46.4 percent of Ector County citizens had filled out the form online at census.gov with 40 to 50 percent in Odessa and 30 to 40 percent in unincorporated West Odessa. Political redistricting data must be submitted by July 31.

Noting the pandemic had prompted the bureau to extend the deadline to Oct. 31, she said Texas is 40th among the states with a 55.5 percent self-response rate while the national average is 60.7 percent.

McBride said local Spanish radio stations have been pitching in to help, especially La Ley 104.7 FM, where Manager Ricky Ramos has approved two one-hour talk shows about encouraging participation.

The court also:

>> OK’d a $625,000 change order for work on the nine-mile-long West 42nd Street including the removal of asphalt and placement of an eight-inch flex base and a one-inch layer of “super pavement” to augment its longevity.

>> Approved a change order costing $121,883 for improvements on the five-mile-long West Pawpaw Street including the replacement of arched piped drainage and the installation of edge line rumble strips.

>> Approved paying $17,600 for unused compensatory time to employees at the county cemetery at 300 S. Dixie Blvd. with Cemetery Director Anna Marie Torres saying the department is two employees short of a full staff of six.

>> Appointed Gus Ortega to a two-year term on the board of PermiaCare, which was previously called the Permian Basin Community Centers.

>> Approved an $11,000 budget amendment for non-departmental health and welfare medical commitments.

>> OK’d a $16,000 budget amendment for road maintenance, improvement and construction.

>> Renewed governmental entity crime insurance and public entity employment-related liability coverage.

>> Tabled consideration of a law library contract with the LexisNexis Corp.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Clear
78°
Humidity: 51%
Winds: S at 10mph
Feels Like: 80°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 99°/Low 73°
Sunshine. Highs in the upper 90s and lows in the low 70s.

monday

weather
High 101°/Low 75°
Sunny. Highs 99 to 103F and lows in the mid 70s.

tuesday

weather
High 101°/Low 75°
Abundant sunshine. Highs 99 to 103F and lows in the mid 70s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.