County thwarted in bid for ‘mass hub’State tabs Medical Center Hospital instead

Beaten to the punch in their efforts to establish a mass vaccination hub by state health officials and Medical Center Hospital, Ector County commissioners heard Tuesday that the county health department will now concentrate instead on inoculating nursing home residents and giving second dose COVID-19 booster shots to the 700 people it has already vaccinated.
County Judge Debi Hays said at the 10 a.m. meeting that the county coliseum’s Building C will remain ready as a mass hub if it’s ever needed.
Hays said she had been meeting with Emergency Management Coordinator Rickey George, Building Maintenance Director Charles Pierce, Health Department Director Brandy Garcia and others until the Texas Department of State Health Services designated MCH to establish a hub at Ratliff Stadium just north of Odessa off North Grandview Avenue.
Hays said the health department so far has only been able to get 200 or 300 doses of the Moderna vaccine at a time.
Asked if she felt that MCH “stole” her thunder after the health department issued a news release announcing its hub late last Friday afternoon, Garcia said, “No, our goal is to get everybody vaccinated.
“If individuals can go out to Ratliff and get it, that’s great. We’re waiting on the vaccine and we want to assist MCH by going to the nursing homes and bringing the vaccine to the vulnerable population who can’t go to the stadium.”
Garcia said representatives of CVS Pharmacy will administer the vaccine at four local nursing homes and her department “will pick up with the ones that are not covered by CVS.”
In other business, a bid was accepted from Parkway Chevrolet of Tomball, north-northwest of Houston, to supply 27 new Chevrolet Tahoes to Sheriff Mike Griffis’ patrol deputies. “General Motors shut off all new orders for Tahoes yesterday, but this dealer has 30 in stock,” Griffis said before the commissioners’ meeting.
“But they’re not the color we wanted. They’re white and we wanted gray.”
Fitted with special law enforcement equipment, the Tahoes are expected to be delivered in the spring or summer, when they will allow all 40 of Griffis’ deputies to take their vehicles home and enhance the law enforcement presence in their neighborhoods, the sheriff said.
The commissioners last August authorized a $2.5-million expenditure for the Tahoes, including the installation of radios, decals and other equipment after they arrive here.
The court also:
Approved Garcia’s request to contract with the TDSHS to provide immunizations other than for COVID for the rest of this fiscal year, including school vaccinations, through a yearly interlocal application for immunization program funds.
Approved District Attorney Dusty Gallivan’s proposal to store evidence in Hangars 4, 5 and 6 at the Schleymeyer Field airport north of town.
Approved seeking $467,068 from OneBeacon Government Risks for architects’ fees incurred in roof replacements in 53 locations related to hail damage on March 28 and June 14, 2017.
OK’d specifications for the county’s bank depository contract.
Approved an interlocal agreement with Lynn County, south of Lubbock, for Lynn County inmates to be housed in the expanded Ector County Detention Center.
OK’d Garcia’s proposal to start grant public health nurses at step four or $24.40 per hour beginning in September.
Transferred $1,125 from general fund postage to the tax assessor’s office for insurance.
Transferred $205 from the educational travel fund to Court at Law No. 2 for professional dues and fees.
Transferred $4,715 from county legal fees to the self-funded automobile liability insurance fund.
Approved making payment No. 5 to Johnson Controls, which is over one-third finished with its $6.9-million contract to upgrade lights and heating-air conditioning in county buildings.
Allocated $35,340 from the sales tax fund for radios for the environmental enforcement department and transferred $600 from the unreserved fund balance for the purchase of office supplies.
Moved $12,543 from the unreserved fund balance to the general fund for software maintenance.