HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE

Monday, March 8, 2021 - 9:30 AM

 

 

Clerkís note Ė This meeting was held virtually.

 

Joseph Giordano, Chairperson

Charles Harrington, Vice-Chairperson

 

Chairman Giordano called this Human Services Meeting to order at 9:30 am with the following Supervisors virtually in attendance: Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Archie Depo, Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland (in person), Joseph Giordano, Roy Holzer, Kenneth Hughes, Steve McNally, Jim Monty, Noel Merrihew, Jay Rand, Tom Scozzafava, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson and Davina Winemiller. Charlie Harrington was absent and Jeffrey Subra was excused.

 

Department Heads present: Dan Palmer (in person) Linda Beers, Judy Garrison, Krissy Leerkes, Michael Mascarenas, Terri Morse and Heather Sheehan.

 

Also virtually present:Sun News, Tim Rowland and Lynn Donaldson

 

 

GIORDANO:I will call this Human Services meeting to order.Letís begin with the Pledge of allegiance.Good morning everyone.Weíll start with Social Service, Mike Mascarenas.

 

MASCARENAS:Good morning everyone.I do have one resolution this morning, resolution authorizing the Chairman of the Board to enter into an agreement on behalf of Essex County with the New York State Office of Children and Family services for the 2020 comprehensive plan for Youth Development program funding as provided for in the 2020 Essex County Budget.This is last yearís money.This is not 2021.†† These are programmatic and administrative expenses that have already happened.Any program, any community that did run any type of recreational activity in 2020, would have already been reimbursed by us.We upfront the money and then we claim it back to the state.The reason why this is so tardy is because all the state finances are tardy.We didnít know what the wrap was going to be until a week ago and we wanted to get that in front of the board so we can get our reimbursement back.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT ON BEHALF OF ESSEX COUNTY WITH THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES FOR THE 2020 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FUNDING AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE 2020 ESSEX COUNTY BUDGET.Monty, Merrihew

 

GIORDANO:Any discussion on this?If not, all those in favor, anyone opposed Ė so carried.Thank you Mike.

 

MASCARENAS:Yes, the other thing I wanted to talk about a little bit today just to kind of put it on everybodyís radar is the summer recreation programs.I did send an extensive email to all of you kind of where we stand with that but if you didnít get a chance, I wanted to also bring it up.Currently, we know that the state is going to allow for somewhat low level of recreational activity in the summer, they are allowing for overnight camps to operate which would tell me that theyíre certainly going to allow for day camps to operate but what we do not know right now is what are the guidelines going to be in terms of that?We have been communicating with Kristen Sayers and sheís gotten very little guidance in terms of what thatís going to look like on her end.Anybody whoís dealt with her knows sheís excellent but she doesnít have the information in front of her right now.My concern is about this time you guys usually start hiring.You start trying to get people in place, trained, etc.We donít know what that is going to look like right now.Last year if you remember there were a lot of waivers in place for different trainings and certifications, lifeguards those types of things.Those certifications were extended but they were only extended through the end of last year so weíre not sure how thatís going to look.First aid/CPR requirements that you need responding to emergency training that you need traditionally to operate those camps we donít know if theyíre going to allow for the continuation of that waiver for this year or if theyíre going to require that those trainings are.Now, with that being said we do have a tentative schedule.We heard from Friday from Moriah Central School that will allow us to use the pool over the weekend to try to a lifeguard.It will be a combination of those individuals, of virtual training and pool training and we can get those dates out pretty soon but what we donít know is are we going to be able to do those first Aid/CPR those types of things and get people congregated in an area where that hands on skill set matters when youíre doing that?†† So, weíre kind of playing it by ear at this point.Iím not sure whatís happening but I know we need answers sooner rather than later.

 

GIORDANO:You answered my question, thank you Mike.I was going to ask you that this morning too.Does anyone else have any questions for Mike?

 

MONTY:We did our food program for lunch and breakfast there when we didnít have our program.If we donít have the program is there any talk that thatís going to be allowed again?

 

MASCARENAS:Weíve asked that question.We havenít gotten a solid response yet.Iím hoping thatís the case.I feel like that was such a good thing to have last summer in order to fill that gap that all those young people had and the number of meals we did last summer far exceeded any other time that weíve done meals.So, Iím thinking the answer will be yes but I canít guarantee that the answer will be yes Jim until we get that formal documentation from them.We have asked what towns automatically qualify.Theyíre trying to put that list together for us now.Typically, if you automatically qualified last year, you are automatically qualified this year as well but sometimes you have those communities that ride that fine line of the 50% threshold for automatic qualification.

 

MONTY:I know our program was phenomenal Mike.I heard nothing but good things about it and I want to thank you guys.Really good program.

 

MASCARENAS:Absolutely, your welcome.We are happy to be able to help you guys.

 

GIORDANO:Anything else for Mike?If not, thank you Mike and we will move onto Terri Morse with Mental Health.Good morning Terri.

 

MORSE:Good morning everyone.How are you all doing on this sunny, sunny day.I just wanted to open up my report today with thanking several members of the Board of Supervisors for reaching out to me throughout the last month.Even department heads to help me learn more about resolutions and the content of resolutions and also wanted to share that I feel far more supported and this department feels far more supported because of that outreach so thank you so much.I appreciate that.

I want to talk a little bit about I just quickly looked at my 2020 January data and in 2020, my March report of 2020 we showed that we served 597 unique individuals and this year in January we served 676 so thatís a 10% increase compared to 2021 so I just wanted to bring that to your attention.Also, I wanted to share a little bit about what Essex County Mental Health does in collaboration with sorry, Mental Health Association in Essex County and St. Joeís for that matter what available crisis services are in our county for those who are in your communities.So, maybe some of you know that Essex County Mental Health operates a 24/7 crisis line, phone line but also during the day if anyone is in crisis they can come to our office and be seen in person.That has been the case throughout this entire Covid year and people do access that.So I wanted to share a little bit more about whatís available for crisis and then the fact thatyou know 24/7 crisis services from my staff, means that at any time my staff member is on call after 5 pm until 8 am in the morning and you know, we had an incident a couple months ago where my staff member goes home at four oíclock, has two small children and one of them has an earache and isnít sleeping real well, they got beeped at one oíclock in the morning, got beeped again at 2:30 in the morning and got beeped again at four oíclock in the morning by that same individual and then, had to be at work at eight oíclock the next day so thatís hard work and itís challenging for being able to kind of be on point in working with those whom we serve and so I just wanted to bring that to your attention.

The Mental Health Association also operates what we call a 24/7 Hopeline.In Essex County the way that we have kind of consider the two different crisis lines is that the mental health clinic usually is working on people who are in kind of an extreme situation and the Hopeline acts more as a warm line.That has been the historic division but nowadays itís either or people can access either one of those crisis lines and it be anybody is not told to you know, donít call us, call that other line because that was the case years and years ago and now weíre doing both.Also, St. Joesí unfortunately I forgot to put this in my report but St. Joeís has an open access center over in Saranac Lake on the property of the, itís called Adirondack Health now probably many of you thought of it as, oh, Iím forgetting the old name.Linda, what was the old name?How did they refer to it in the past?

 

BEERS: I think AMC, Adirondack Medical Center.

 

MORSE:Yes, thank you.So, itís on that property and they have 24/7 phone but from 8 am. to 8 pm, seven days a week anybody can walk in if they have a substance use issue or a mental health issue and receive help and if the person needs detox services they can help the person get into detox services.So those services are available to all of those whom you work with in your communities and Iím pretty proud to say that during Covid compared to the prior year, the numbers of suicides and the numbers of suicide attempts has not been any different in 2020 compared to previous years numerically at least thatís based on 911 data.I think that can be said.I keep telling you, like, our crisis services has gone up 85%, MHA services has gone up 100% and maybe those numbers have been flat because of the services that weíve been providing so I wanted to let you know that that is happening.We are both, Essex County Mental Health and MHA in collaborative relationship are going to be providing more mobile crisis or in community crisis because we have received a contract with the Fidelis so that we can do that and obtain reimbursement for it.We have been doing that over the course of years but the reimbursement for the Mental Health Association has been nil, they have been doing it out of their OMH money.So now we can get reimbursed for those efforts and can increase them. I will keep you more posted on that.Any questions about crisis services before I move into resolutions?

 

HUGHES:I have a quick question Terri.I saw that you had in your report you put those crisis hotlines, the Hopeline and the 24/7 line in the report where are those advertised out in the community and how do people know where to find those numbers?

MORSE:So they are certainly posted on the Essex County website on both our Mental Health webpage which is in dire need of updating but also on the county website.I think in that, for a while, I havenít been on the county website for a while but there was a time that when we were posting information about Covid resources that information was in that highlighted section of the Covid resources.It is on our appointment cards.It is provided to every person that walks in our door.There are magnets.The suicide prevention coalition has cards that we have put out about a year ago no, two years ago because we didnít meet in May 2020 as a group but in May of 2019, I gave every supervisor like a packet of information for suicide prevention and it has all those phone numbers on it.I have more if anybody has run out of those cards or certainly can put it on the hands of the newer Board of Supervisors definitely can get that on there.There is actually a suicide prevention link on the county website also.

 

GIORDANO: Good question Ken.Thank you.Does anyone else have any other questions Terri moves on to her resolutions?

 

MORSE:One other thing we did Ken, Iím sorry is when Covid hit we created a quarter page card on three resources, St. Joeís, Essex County Mental Health and the Mental Health Association and we called it you know a Covid Resources card.We got those cards to every food pantry in the county because we felt that at that time in you know, March, April, May that that would be a primary resource to get that in that data out there.

Okay, resolutions so the first resolution I want to accomplish is on behalf of Essex County Mental Health so that is the SAMHSA grant budget transition.So we want to roll over SAMHSA grant funding from 2020 to 2021.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $305,673.04, CARRYOVER 2020 SAMHSA GRANT.Monty, Scozzafava

 

GIORDANO:Discussion?

 

HUGHES:This is money that we are allowed to roll over from one year to the next?I know that weíve had discussions in the past and I just want to make sure.

 

MORSE:It is my understanding that this is the way Iím supposed to do this.

 

PALMER:Yes, these have to be rollover because again, we have a different fiscal year from the state so when we get into these we have to roll these over so that they fall into the following fiscal year for the State of New York.

 

MORSE:Right, so this grant technically runs from September 1st and annualized September 1st.

 

GIORDANO:Okay, very good.All those in favor, anyone opposed Ė so carried.Your second resolution Terri?

 

MORSE:Thank you.The second resolution is under my hat of the Director of Community Services.We have some new committee members and then we have some new board members.So there are a list of individuals and for the sake of time Iím going to ask you to refer to the resolution request form.

 

GIORDANO:Everyone have that in front of them?

SCOZZAFAVA: Yes.Iíll move it.

 

MONTY:Iíll second it.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENTS TO THE ESSEX COUNTY COMMUNITY SERVICES BOARD (CSB), THE MENTAL HEALTH SUBCOMMITTEE AND THE ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SUBCOMMITTEE.Scozzafava, Monty

 

GIORDANO:Discussion?If not, all in favor, anyone opposed Ė so carried.

 

MORSE:Thank you very much.

 

GIORDANO:Thank you Terri.Have a good day.Alright, weíll move onto Linda Beers with Public Health.Good morning Linda.

 

BEERS:Hello everybody.Iím going to start with resolutions.I believe I have two.I actually believe I have more.Iím a little concerned they didnít get there.I may need to move one more at ways and means, Iím not sure what happened and Iíll get with Judy on that.So my first resolution is to move R&R thatís recruitment and retention money thatís $24,387.26, into next year for this fiscal year and thatís what my resolution is for.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $24,387.26, CARRY OVER OF RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION FUNDS.Rand, Wilson

 

GIORDANO:Any discussion on this one?If not, all those in favor signify by saying aye, anyone opposed, so carried.

 

BEERS:The second resolution is our PAC, Professional Advisory Council thatís required by law.We met last week and we have a resolution moving forward to accept the changes in the policies and procedures.They are reviewed by our Medical Director, Dr. Celotti as you know and I can make them available upon your request there are usually minor tweaks to huge documents and the resolution is that we met and we reviewed with our board those changes.Also, of note is I did ask that our professional advisory committee, and public health advisory committee we meet two groups, one time ask for anybody whoís interested, weíre looking for new members so if anybody thatís a new member that would like to join our professional advisory council from the outside we look for medical providers but they donít have to be.Also looking for anybody who might have you know a particular interest in population health of our county.So if you have any of those folks and youíd like to nominate them, please feel free to give me their names and Iíll reach out to them.So again, second resolution is to move our professional Advisory Council minutes and meetings forward.

 

RESOLUTION ADOPTING AND APPROVING THE REVISED POLICIES AND PROCEDURES AND QUARTERLY REPORTS FOR THE HOME HEALTH SERVICES AND APPROVED BY THE PAC ON 3/2/2021.Monty, Rand

 

GIORDANO:Any further discussion on this resolution?If not, all those in favor signify by saying aye, anyone opposed, so carried.

 

BEERS:so Iím just going to review my report. I apologize, I sent it to you late last night.Andrea Whitmarsh as you know writes them up.She does a phenomenal job and with juggling different things I make a pledge to make this more timely so you have it in advance so I apologize for the delay in getting it to you but it is a formulized report.I have some noteworthy, noteworthy things.This last week was the lowest we had in for so long about positive cases.We were January 15th at our highest, at 143 active people with Covid in our county and in February we had 55 cases.That is a significant decrease and we are glad to say that.At one point over the Christmas break we had 31 positives a day.I canít even begin to tell you the amount of work that goes into that if you assume every person 30 minutes to do an interview.They all named at least five contacts and all five of those contacts at least a half hour interview.You can imagine an hour.So we are feeling good along with the State of New York and other surrounding counties and places we are beginning to see a downward turn.

The next article talks about a Covid vaccination process and we were at 12%.I just pulled some numbers and weíve increased to 22% actually right there now today weíre at today 24.54% of vaccinated people in Essex County thatís of eligible population so just to say, I am also going to share a link with you today when I get off here.Itís a phenomenal honestly data information itís for the North Country region.They just put it on a website before that you had to be on something called the base camp so itís kind of challenging.I think youíll find the information really valuable I know I do.†† So, eligible population our total population is different than are eligible right?Nobody under 16 or 18 depending on what vaccine youíre using can be vaccinated so we have to remove that group from the population if weíre going to talk about total population vaccinated because that group canít be vaccinated.†† So our total population eligible is 310,453 and at that rate we have 24.54% of our folks vaccinated.So, itís significantly better than the State average which is 15.7%.I will tell you as much as we were concerned, the North Country has held overall to the rest of the State we are number one in vaccinated people.We did get more vaccines than other areas and our people are more, higher percentage of them are vaccinated than other regions of the state.So weíre happy to do that and quite honestly I think itís a tribute to, they gave vaccine to people who could turn it around in seven days and get it in arms and we did it and not to make any fault, people all around the state did it and local health departments are amazing and they stood up over and over and over again but that is one of the reasons that we got it.

And noteworthy, we asked for 17 counties in the State were given J and J which is not, itís Johnson and Johnson but when it comes to us itís called Janssen and Janssen so if you hear me use those terms itís interchangeable but we did 100 doses last week Iím telling you that this morning.I finally got the go ahead from the state to even use them so I know we got them Thursday but the time could not have started even until today.Over the weekend the standing orders came in and all kinds of stuff to use Johnson and Johnson.†† So people are very confused in their vaccine shopping which is extremely unfortunate to me.In Essex County at all of our pods weíve only ever given Moderna just so everybody knows we have only ever given Moderna I do not see a change in that.Thatís a two dose vaccine 28 days later.†† Pfizer is the one that requires cold storage we can use it but you have to have a partner.We donít have ultra-cold storage in Essex County.We could if we had to use it because it has two weeksí shelf life after it is reduced down to a refrigerator level and CVPH does have an ultra-cold storage if we were ever needing that just so we have a backup.Johnson and Johnson is refrigerator ready and itís one dose however, itís limited.So what we proposed, we wrote a plan, we proposed it, that we put through our HUB, we put it through the state and lo and behold, Essex County got it so we have 100 doses working with Krissy Leerkes weíre doing this for the homebound population.So weíve identified, I think 34 real homebound and I mean in the strictest of terms.These are people even under Medicare standards that would be homebound.Theyíre unable to leave their home.Thereís lots of versions to the word homebound and Iím well aware, but right now weíre going for the real traditional value of homebound meaning folks that are medically or for whatever reason unable to leave their home so itís so exciting but this week, the Essex County Health Department with our CHHA will be going door to door and vaccinating people with Johnson and Johnson one and done.So we have 100 vaccines and weíre also able to vaccinate people in the home that are eligible.So they have to still be over 65, be part of the B one group or have a comorbidity and if they have any of those weíre going to also vaccinate those folks the we hope to but up to100 vaccine.So thatís very, very exciting.

Moving on in my report the New York State guidance for schools is changing. I just throw that out so you can even understand what thereís lots of besides doing this, lots and lots of phone calls going on on my level.I have never known every food cater.Iíve had women screaming at me about their wedding plans because the State put Public Health Departments responsible for weddings.I have never overseen wedding venues.I donít even have a list of wedding venues.Kristen Sayers group which is the environmental end and this is not on her, she will help me but these are on me.So together with other counties and working with NYSACHO weíve created a form itís going to be online.I will post it to you so any of the folks that are asking you when can we do this?So it says, parties are expected to notify the Health Department.So weíre coming up with a form filler, itíll be on our Facebook page and on our website that if theyíre going to have any of these events they will fill out this form.This is a complaint based system only.It is not my intention nor you know I donít have the staff to go out and visit every wedding venue.I do like weddings.I did volunteer to go visit a few but anyway weíre not going out to do them unless thereís some reason to believe there is and then weíll have this plan in place and Kristen Sayers if there is any concerns will go there as well as me if need be.So that form is coming.And as I even write this, I just found out this morning, I just found out the Governor had a meeting yesterday and heís just announce March 19th restaurants can go to 75% capacity so that just happened yesterday.So that is how things evolve around here.We know when you know and so weíre moving and constantly trying to update the public on that.

So the gathering limits is the next part here obviously thatís changing beginning March 22nd†† Travel Ė travel keep up on this so travel has changed so weíre no longer required to quarantine or test out within 90 days of full vaccination.So the question remains how do we know somebody is fully vaccinated?You should know that in New York State, I can see somebody in New York State I can see your vaccine history but I canít see any other state or canít see anybody elseís and itís not 100% because anybody who got vaccinated at the Veteranís or whatever canít see it, they didnít enter it so thereís a lot of glitches in that.If you got vaccinated some people should have gotten a card, itís a CDC card.Thereís also something that the Governor had rolled out, it is a QRL, itís the code when you see the little screening codes when you get vaccinated in your second shot you can get a QRL code, you can put it on your phone or there is a sticker you can put on and when you got to venues or whatever it will show that youíve been vaccinated so itís really interesting.Itís been used in lots of other countries again, this concept that if you chose to be vaccinated and youíre vaccinated you might have different rights than those who havenít like boarding a ship, going on an airplane and we already see that.We are already seeing people that can produce Covid vaccination history can board, weíre already seeing people need to show negative test to board so thereís lots of that happening.Thereís also a lot of testing thatís going to be required to have any of these and I, equally was like whereís that happening?Last week they approved three new testing type of devices you can buy privately.Somebody approached to me, I get emails all the time but with a vending machine that thereíll be in and youíll pull a vending machine and youíll be able to get a Covid test.One of the Covid test is under $30, theyíre all under $30.00 and the Covid test, once used it goes to your smart phone and it reports should results to the State.The other ones theyíre asking for like a telehealth visit with your doctor stay tuned.You know these havenít evolved yet.They are things we used but doing them are trained personnel using these kits so not exactly sure what itíll look like when the general public gets it.

Then lastly and I can tell you more things and Iím happy to answer any questions.I canít say enough; weíre really thrilled to have a young lady named Jasmine.She comes to us from Lake Placid, New York, she was hired as our full-time, temporary position in Covid relief that ends the end of next year whenever, we will get to 2023 January.Weíre really thrilled to have her and sheís a Lake Placid lady and thrilled about that.

So one other thing before I stop is this again, Iím going to give you guys the link and I really encourage you, itís the demographics of Essex County and I just pulled this thatís where I got this 24% people vaccinated thereís a dose and by age groups specific counting.Kudos to Krissy Leerkes I just canít say enough that 70-79 age group, weíre at 57 plus percentage of vaccination thatís unheard of across the State.There are 50% for those 60 to 69 and then it goes down to about 30% of 80 and over but thatís done in relationship to how many people are in that group there may only be 30% population.So weíre doing an amazing job really capturing the seniors even though our vaccine rolling out and then Iím just going to end this with weíre having a POD, point of distribution in Schroon Lake on Friday with 32 links out of 100 that have not filled for 65 or older.Krissy will tell you the same stories.Kinneyís is not filling them.Weíre beginning to saturate that market now it will be a deeper dive to get those folks in and whatnot and weíll reach to that.So Iím really, I said to Shaun today my real being will be this for now on all of our points of distribution, Iím going to send you the links.I really want you to be ambassadors if theyíre anywhere near your towns.The grocery store workers are eligible; food service people are eligible in the 1B category.Knock on doors of people you think are 65 and older, we will be in your towns, weíre moving around and I want you to when you get those links to be ambassadors and tell people hey and if you need any help registering Iím just going to throw it at her, Krissy Leerkes will help you and even if itís not somebody 65, if she canít I will.We really want to get people vaccinated.We want to get vaccine in arms.We know we have a long way to go, 25% that means 75% havenít.So letís weíll just keep moving forward with that and Iím confident weíll get there.

 

GIORDANO:Great, thank you Linda.

 

HOLZER:Quick question for Linda.Linda do we have a stand-by list regardless of age or circumstances?Iím reading in the paper and stuff like some people notify pod areas, put me on a waiting list.If you have a left over does anyone can show up?

 

BEERS:So we do that happens at every pod and this is our 12th, different for second doses that a vaccine is reserved for second doses and then Iím going to call those people, make sure they get their vaccine right the allocation comes but on first does is we do we actually have used Krissy Leerkes and if not, we always have a school standing by that has a list of teachers that werenít.Weíve had people that are all eligible so in Saranac Lake we had a list of food service people that so were at North Country Community College in Essex County, we did 600 vaccines that day between us and Franklin County and at the end people who registered which is happening on multiple sites now we have people vaccine shopping so they will cancel if they think they can get J & J because itís one and done.So theyíre cancelling to find out that they didnít get it so now they are trying to get back in what really caused a nightmare so that should be our consistent message.If you can get a vaccine, get whatever darn vaccine you can and get it in your arm but the answer to your question is yes we do carry a list and those are groups of people that are already eligible that couldnít get in.†† To answer your question further by the end of the week weíre going to have a list online for people to sign up to be on a backup list if our pods fill up so if you werenít able to get in one of these, put your name on the list and weíll work towards getting you on, thatís a great question.

 

GIORDANO:Tom, do you have a question?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Yes, Linda as you are aware of the snowbirds are starting to arrive back from Florida so my question would be, are they required to be tested or quarantine or what are the rules on that now?

 

BEERS:So, yeah that has not changed if youíre coming here from a non-contiguous state, you havenít been vaccinated, ten days, settle it in they are equally able to get vaccinated here as well right and thatís happening.But lots of the other areas Florida was slow to roll but now they are getting vaccine in the arms of a lot of people so they could actually come here vaccinated.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:My next question is and I know Shaun has been very concerned about this as we all have actually but I had a positive case at my wastewater treatment plant a couple weeks ago when I have three operators, two that are licensed that take care of two water plants and wastewater treatment plant so that really but us kind of in a bind because obviously the other two had to go into quarantine but they are essential so we had them going in individually with the exception of the one thatís in isolation.Is there any talk at all about wastewater treatment plant operators at least or anybody that works around waste water?

 

BEERS:This is a great question and it comes up again and again and I just want to and I really believe the word is around essential.I understand all of your thoughts but I wanted, when we closed back in the day and we identified people as essential we identified them because they were essential to the workings of our Government and keeping things moving.Thatís one thing.When we talk about priority groups, or essential people in Covid vaccination it has nothing to do with your role as being important, it has everything to do with your job causes significant spread of the virus.So, if I look at your wastewater treatment plant who typically works alone, goes home, he is not a front facing grocery store worker, he is not a doctor, he is not an EMT, he is not somebody who spreads Covid and the idea of prioritizing those groups were really to reduce the spread of Covid not to prioritize groups of people that were essential to the business of place, right because that could be a young man thatís not eligible at all right now.The reason they did it was loss of life, which are our seniors if they get Covid they died and the other groups have been identified because they are big spreaders.Restaurant workers are big spreaders, grocery store people were big spreaders, schools had big spreads because they are still meeting and they still have large people gathering.Iím not telling you here in any way that that is the only reason it should be, Iím not but you should know that that guidance is not unique to the going to State thatís the CDC guidance and itís based on the virus spread not based on the essentiality of the personís role.Next week, DPW and other groups are going to roll out.Thatís my understand but I donít know any more about it than you.I literally know this.The day you hear it is the day I hear it.Iíve never been given any advance notice.Our phone will ring off the hook the minute you know about it and Iíve had no warning about it so yeah, I hear you.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Food pantry workers are they eligible?

 

BEERS:Yup and Iím not in agreement Iím just telling you thatís the reasoning.

 

GIORDANO:Tom, anything else?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Just that, itís proven that Covid exists in wastewater I mean, and thatís I just donít understand why, you know, this individual that actually had Covid, he doesnít know where he would have, he wasnít around anybody that any recent cases so you know he very well could have contracted it at the wastewater treatment plant.I mean, you donít know.

 

BEERS:I have to look into that.Iím not really sure, so itís in fecal matter thatís only where it is.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Well thatís usually whatís in wastewater treatment plant.

 

BEERS: Yeah, I havenít heard any of that but Iím happy to look into it.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Okay.

 

GIORDANO:Jay, do you have a question?

 

RAND: Yes.Linda, is the Crown Plaza clinic still a go?

 

BEERS:It is.So thatís a phenomenal thing.We were looking for a venue in Lake Placid.We have lots of restaurant workers who have not been vaccinated and lots of spread in Lake Placid and these are local people were spread right because I donít do anything with not local people.And so we were looking for a venue, Jay has always been wonderful. We went everywhere looking and saying what could be really close because itís our understanding a lot of people transportation is actually an issue in Lake Placid because people live right in the heart of it and they donít need cars.Krista Berger who works for us has connections all over Lake Placid she called Mr. Lucy and Mr. Lucy and their family said, we would be honored and the Crown Plaza has given us the Crown Plaza one of their big resort rooms to use the next pod in Lake Placid and what a nice you know, community partnership with businesses.So, yeah, itís a go.

 

RAND:Whatís the date of that Linda?Has it been set yet?

 

BEERS: No.It maybe but I donít know if off the top of my head but Iím certainly happy to get back to you.I apologize.

 

RAND:Thatís great you guys got that.

 

BEERS:I agree.Is Noel on?Noel Merrihew is also been working with me and Shaun on a whole other little project about doing something with Terri Morse she doesnít even know about it yet but working with despaired populations and Krissy Leerkes group hard to reach people that might come to the county to do something called, it would be unique to us, a permanent pod where we would set up and be there x amount of days every week, with vaccine when they have an opportunity to vaccinate a hard group that we would use Johnson and Johnson and be one and done with a group that we know notoriously does not come back for their second dose.So weíre working on all of that.So thatís a state too kind of thing.

 

GIORDANO:Very good.Any other questions for Linda?No, okay anything else Linda?

 

BEERS:I will share the link to you to look at this new website that has all this data.I highly recommend you do it.Thank you.

 

GIORDANO:Thank you.Thank you very much.Okay we will move on to Krissy Leerkes, Office for the Aging.

 

LEERKES:Good morning everyone.So, as Linda had mentioned 99.9% of our time the last couple of weeks and couple of months was focused on getting individuals that are 65 and older registered for the Covid 19 vaccine.Just in the last two weeks that weíve tracked weíve registered over 600 individuals and thatís prior, prior to that I apologize we were not keeping the data because we were you know scrambling to get these appointments against everybody else so data was not my unfortunately was not my priority, getting that vaccine in personís arm was.So, like we said, we have kept a list of individuals that are 65 and older, that may have needed some assistance right now weíre like Linda said, weíre begging you, begging the community.If youíre 65 and older or for me, also 60 plus with one of those underlying health conditions as defined by the Department of Health have those constituents call us.We will help them register even if they are able to get themselves registered they may not know of all the different locations that have vaccine available so I do not care about what their ability is with technology.Have them call us.Weíre also now starting a list for 60 plus individuals without one of those underlying health conditions because weíre hoping that as more vaccine flows, that age group or the additional age group will be able to get access and again, we would be assisting those individuals.

I apologize, Ms. Winemiller had sent me a private message in regards to her community and I responded back to the whole group but in regards to that, we have obviously made outreach to all the senior housings.You know, everybody has said that their residents have been or those that live in those apartment complexes have either had an appointment or already vaccinated again, if you hear of anybody please just refer them back to us.

We also, I went to the Schroon Lake Pharmacy last Friday and assisted at their vaccine clinic and it was so amazing actually to see it in the works.You know, I hear Linda and her team talking about how amazing their pods are and Iíve never seen them in action so just to be at a pharmacy to see it was just truly, truly amazing for all the hard work that goes into that.

We also, just quickly to my report you see that in our newsletter outside of the Covid world two years ago we took over the contracts with Nascentia and Fidelis Care at Home, those are the two managed long-term Medicaid plans that are offered here in Essex County.†† So weíve contracted with those providers to receive reimbursement for their subscribers that receive home delivered meals so that way we get that reimbursement so just in 2020 alone and itís not a ton of money you know in comparison to what our nutrition budget is but we brought in over $26,000 of revenue for I think six individuals that we were able to bill for those services so not a ton of money but you know, in these times every penny counts.

And then the only other thing that Iíd like to call your attention to, you also have our newsletter and were working with one of our clients who actually just recently about two weeks ago on February 28 turned 104 years old.Remarkable woman.We are truly blessed to have her in our community so if you havenít taken a chance to read that newsletter, you know we, I recommend that you do just to have a little sunshine in our day.So, thatís all I have to report unless anybody has any questions.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Probably a better question for Linda.I have had a few people approach me that you know, theyíre waiting for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine because they prefer to do the one shot so when they go on the link that you provided, I mean does that tell you, is it going to be two vaccine required or the one vaccine or how do they get that information?

 

BEERS:So, all of our sites say, but I heard that today it was written on Facebook so weíre going to make it very, very clear people are vaccine shopping itís disheartening, Iím not going to lie because Johnson and Johnson has not flowed freely anybody cancelling appointments thinking theyíre going to get J and J may find that they missed an opportunity as they wait 30 more days for that to happen.So, itís always been there Tom but we will do a better job of making it.Every vaccine besides J and J is a two dose right?So Iím just going to tell you we do not, nor do I foresee us getting J&J to do any type of pod distribution those are what we traditionally stand up because the vaccine, Moderna and Pfizer the government bought a lot of that as well and they are going to need to use that as well as the J and J thatís easy to use in different avenues.Iíd love that but no such luck.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Okay thank you.

 

GIORDANO:Any other questions for Krissy?

 

MONTY:Yes, Joe Ė Krissy, have we offered a resolution of congratulations to this young lady that turned 104?

 

LEERKES:I do not know, to be honest.

 

MONTY: I would love to offer that.

 

LEERKES:She is a resident of North Elba.

 

MONTY:Okay if Jay wants to do it thatís fine with me but she should be recognized.

 

RAND:Absolutely, that would be good.We will do it through the town board too but certainly it would be good to do it through the county as well.

 

RESOLUTION OF CONGRATULATIONS TO REKEATH EGELAND UPON HER 104TH BIRTHDAY. Rand, unanimous

 

GIORDANO:Thank you Krissy.Anything else?

 

LEERKES:So if weíre talking about 100 plus year old individuals Mr. Giordano you also have a 100-year-old in your community so I can reach out, just recently turned 100 actually we were able to schedule her for the vaccine and she actually walked to the location.So that was so cool.So I can touch base with you to get that information as well.

 

GIORDANO:That would be great, thank you.Is there anything else to come before the Human Services Committee?

 

RAND:Just one last comment, Iím not sure if I did it or not but it deserves to be said again but Mayor Randall and I went over to the North Country Community College clinic and Iíll tell you, we were incredible impressed and Iíd just like to say on behalf of all of us, our board thank you.Anybody that participated in that, it was amazing.Linda didnít even have time to say hi, she was giving shots.It was great, really impressive.

 

GIORDANO:Thank you very much Jay for sharing that.Anything else to come before Human Services?Okay weíll adjourn.

 

GILLILLAND:Joe?

 

GIORDANO:Yes, Shaun Iím sorry.

 

GILLILLAND:Iím not a member of this committee but I would like to propose a resolution of congratulation to a Willsboro resident, Lucia Emily Doud Wallace, who will turn 106 in the month of June and I will have the write up for the full board.

 

MONTY: Iíll offer it Joe.

 

GIORDANO:Thank you Jim.Would anyone like to second?Unanimous, very good thank you.

 

RESOLUTION OF CONGRATULATIONS TO LUCIA EMILY DOUD WALLACE UPON HER 106TH BIRTHDAY.Monty, unanimous

 

GIORDANO:Anyone else?Iím trying to see if I can see any hands raised.Going once, going twice.We are adjourned.Thank you very much.

 

††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this Human Services Committee it was adjourned at 10:22 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Judith Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors