Health officer says get vaccinated now
Vaccines. Vaccines. Vaccines. That’s the message from Dr. David Welsh, Ripley County Health Officer. He said, “The more shots in arms, the safer we will be.” Encouragement was given to those who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccination, to do so.
At the regular quarterly meeting of the health department board of directors, Lexi Bushhorn, Ripley County Health Department Administrator, noted that they are starting to see a decrease in the number of people wanting the vaccine. “We have a lot of openings,” she noted.
Dr. Welsh noted that many people have been vaccinated without incident. He says it’s the safest way to get our community back to ‘normal’ living, where events can be planned safely. He said they are keeping their eye on Senate Bill 5. If this bill passes, any existing city or county COVID-19 policies that are more restrictive than those ordered by Governor Eric Holcomb, would be invalid and unenforceable.
The bill has already passed both chambers of the Indiana Legislature and is now on the governor’s desk. “Senate Bill 5 is a dangerous experiment Hoosiers would soon regret beginning immediately with the annulment of local COVID-19 restrictions currently in place across the state,” said Dr. Jeremy Adler, president of the Indiana State Association of County and City Health Officials.
Changes to food fees for the health department will be forthcoming. This will mainly impact new mobile unit permits, which will now be available for an entire year, instead of singular events. There are still signatures to get, approval by commissioners, and making the fees public before they go into effect.
Frankie Geary, public health assistant for Ripley County, explained about the new Nalobox Project. She said the health department has partnered with EMS to have two Naloboxes each with a dose of Narcan, CPR mask and instructions. These will be located on the outside of the Versailles and Milan EMS buildings.
With the project that has spanned all Indiana counties, the hope is to reduce the overdose death rate from opioids. It was noted that this will be 100% anonymous. Geary said that with Milan being a hotpoint for overdoses at this time, their hopes are to reduce that situation with the Naloboxes. They should be in place within the next six weeks.
The next public meeting of the Ripley County Health Department is set for July 13 at 5 p.m. at the Commissioners Room in the Annex Building in Versailles.