Board wants more briefing on COVID crisis

The Moore County Board of Commissioners came with questions for its Tuesday, August 18 Regular Meeting. A maximum of 25 observers, along with the board and staff, were allowed at the session, which took place at the Historic Courthouse in Carthage. Requirements for social distancing, due to COVID-19, were followed.

After passing the consent agenda, the board recognized David Sinclair, who was present at the meeting. Sinclair, a journalist, covered the board and other events in Moore County for decades. A graduate of Pinecrest High School, he began writing about local government in 1984. The board, citing his honesty and quality work, wished Sinclair well as he embarks on future endeavors.

Health Director Robert Wittmann, during a presentation, said all migrant workers in Moore County are screened before entering the U.S. Since the relevant monitoring program began in February, only one worker in Moore County has tested positive for COVID-19. Wittmann cited reducing the number of people on the buses bringing people in – and other safety measures – for the low number.

Piedmont Health is responsible for the healthcare and, if needed, the isolation of migrant workers. In recent months, there have been 50 migrants working in Moore County.

Wittmann also announced the state has ordered all staff at nursing homes to be tested every two weeks. Out of 21 deaths due to COVID in Moore County, 12 have been at nursing facilities. According to Wittmann, the death rate in the county is well below 1 percent.

Board members peppered Wittmann with several questions related to the dissemination of information about the health crisis. As it stands, the board is next due to be briefed on COVID in October.

The Board of Health will provide updates regarding the pandemic via a variety of methods. Wittmann urged that all necessary vaccinations for other illnesses, especially with the coming flu season, are taken care of.

He also emphasized the need to wear masks and practice social distancing, something Wittmann says has been more problematic with young people. 

In other business, David Lambert, the solid waste director, gave an overview of collection sites in the county. According to Lambert, inconvenience is an issue at the Aberdeen Collection Site. Increased wait times, because of single entry and exit at the site, can raise costs for local businesses.

Safety concerns, due to the traffic flow at the location, were also discussed.

To address problems and provide a one-stop shop, Lambert, formerly the town manager for Robbins, proposes an expansion of the landfill through the purchase of nearby property.

More information on plans for the collection site will be available in the coming weeks and months.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Dave Lukow.

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