Board approves $305,000 to fight coronavirus

More money is on the way for COVID-19 testing, Chair Frank Quis announced Tuesday at a meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners. Still to be decided is how the $305,000 will be spent.

The funds will come in the way of grants from the Division of Public Health, Communicable Diseases Branch. These federal and state grants are being made available to local health departments. 

In discussing how the money should be spent, Commissioner Catherine Graham urged Health Director Robert Wittmann to consider a method called rapid testing. As the name implies, results of rapid testing are known within 30 minutes. According to Wittman however, people testing positive need to be retested using a separate, more accurate confirmatory test. 

Currently, the health department is sponsoring drive-thru testing using the more accurate method, but the results can take days to be known.

Wittmann said he will re-examine the use of rapid testing after researching it further. “We are a state-certified lab for doing the testing, and we could add that to our arsenal,” said Wittmann.     

The health department is sponsoring another drive-thru testing this week. It will be at the First Baptist Church in Robbins on Thursday, Sept 17. The Town of Robbins has a disproportionate amount of total confirmed cases in the county.

Drive-Thru Testing

Other drive-thru testing will be held on Sept. 21 at St. Peter’s Church in West End and Sept. 24 at the Morganton Sports Complex in Southern Pines. Testing is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is free for residents. Anyone wanting to be tested is asked to call 910-267-2044 to make an appointment.

Public Outreach

Keeping the public informed has been a priority for the Moore County Board of Health. Matt Garner, Public Information Officer, told commissioners that his department has made a concerted effort to reach people on Facebook, Twitter and daily updates of the online Coronavirus Dashboard and the department’s website.

Another outreach measure has been a collaboration with Miss Moore County, Karolyn Martin. Martin has been working with the Moore County Health Department for about a month to create the #TogetherWeAreMOORE campaign to remind people how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each Friday, a new video will be posted to the health department’s Facebook page.

Moore County also operates a Coronavirus Hotline for non-medical advice. The number to call is 910-947-4509, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Residents can also send an email anytime to: covid19info@moorecountync.gov

Board of Health

During his presentation, Wittmann wanted to clear up information provided in a Sandhills Sentinel article published after the Board of Health meeting on Monday evening. According to Wittmann, William Mang stepped down from his position as chairman for personal reasons, not related to the conduct of the Board of Health. Wittmann also stated that two of the three vacancies on the Board of Health were created because of term limits. The other was because a member moved out of the county.

Anthony Price, CEO of Moore Free & Charitable Care Clinic, Dr. Benjamin Wacker; and Dr. Paul Kuzma were sworn in Monday evening to fill 2-year terms. It is expected that another board position will be filled at the next meeting of the Board of Health. 

Resolution and Proclamation

In other business, the board adopted a resolution to honor Anothy Price for his leadership and significant contribution to Moore County as CEO of Moore Free & Charitable Clinic.

Board of commissioners approves $305,000 to fight coronavirus

The Moore County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution honoring Anothy Price, seen in the middle, for his leadership and significant contribution to Moore County as CEO of Moore Free & Charitable Clinic at their meeting, September 15, 2020. Presenting the resolution are Chair Frank Quis (R) and Vice Chair Catherine Graham (L). 

Reading from the recognition, Board Chair Frank Quis said, “Price has been an impactful leader of the Moore Free & Charitable Clinic and has recently led its significant expansion. The clinic’s board would like him to be publicly recognized for his efforts.”

The board also passed a proclamation making September National Recovery Month in Moore County. Karen Wicker, Executive Director of Drug Free Moore County, spoke in support of creating awareness of substance use and mental health disorders.  

Feature photo: Matt Garner, Public Information Officer for the health department, told commissioners that his department has made a concerted effort to reach people on Facebook, Twitter and daily updates of the online Coronavirus Dashboard and the department’s website.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.

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