Dog bite case, inspections, wages concern Health Board

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The dog bite case in Wellman is still being reviewed, including talking with two individuals at the daycare facility, Environmental Health Director Jason Taylor told the Washington County Board of Health at its July 28 meeting.  He noted that to date, there have been 21 reported dog bite cases, including some involving rabies cases.  He added that there has been an increase in the dog biting cases.

The department also does pool and tattoo facility inspections for a four-county area, and recently renewed the contract for three years through 2025.  To date, the department received $7,500 for the pool inspections and $2,500 for the tattoo businesses.

An important update is the resumption of food safety cases for food establishment personnel, suspended during the COVID shutdown.  The first class is to start in 90 days and has a fee of $260 per person.   It is a slightly higher fee, noted Taylor, and reflects the additional cost involved.  The class had been a regular part of the department’s services. 

In terms of finances, the department has received 118% in revenues with only 77% paid in expenses.

For the Public Health Department, there was a discussion about $69,000 in delayed payments in reimbursements from Medicare as well as from grants and fees.    In terms of funds from the county through taxation, the department received $184,000 for the fiscal year, starting July 1.

A report on the I-Smile dental program for youth K-9th grade noted that 307 individuals from low to moderate income families were served.

There was discussion about the wage matrix for the current, noting that the previously agreed increase of 3% is not effective until January 1, 2023.  It is the second part of the total 7% approved earlier in the spring.

Members also briefly discussed what could be involved for the department if county offices are moved to remodeled facilities at the Orchard Hill complex on Lexington Blvd. which will be less space than the current facilities in the Federation Bank Building in downtown Washington.

In other business, the board approved a wage increase for Megan Waterhouse to $35 per hour and the designation of the Washington County Public Health (WCPH) as a local public health entity; and

• learned the department is working on a grant from the state Public Health Department to aid with funds for a Rural Community Health Program.

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