Health agency shifts focus to flu program as COVID-19 refuses to exit quietly in area

By Buck Collier, Special Correspondent
Posted 9/7/22

HERMANN —  The Gasconade County Health Department is beginning to turn its attention to the upcoming flu season, even as the coronavirus is continuing to make its presence known in the …

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Health agency shifts focus to flu program as COVID-19 refuses to exit quietly in area

Posted

HERMANN —  The Gasconade County Health Department is beginning to turn its attention to the upcoming flu season, even as the coronavirus is continuing to make its presence known in the area.

COVID has put a couple residents in the hospital, which prompted the elevation of Gasconade County to the “yellow” level, according to Health Department Administrator Kenna Fricke in a report last Monday morning to the agency’s Board of Trustees regular August session. 

She added that the department still continues to offer vaccine against COVID.

“We are still offering Moderna and Pfizer” vaccine, she said, noting that additional doses of the vaccine have been ordered. Current supplies should allow the department to accommodate walk-in clients, Fricke said.

But as the coronavirus appears to be waning and with cooler weather on the way, health agency staffers are preparing their efforts for the annual battle against the spread of the flu.

“Now, everybody is reaching out for flu…going to senior centers,” Fricke said.

In other matters taken up during the brief board session, Fricke said agency nurses were busy during registration and Open House days at Gasconade County R-1 and R-2 schools, as well as St. George School.

“I felt it was a success,” she said. “We saw a lot of kids at all the schools,” the administrator added.

A key program operated by the agency — the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program — is seeing steady traffic, she said. 

“WIC has been going well. Our budget, so far, is on track,” she said.

On a related note, Fricke said an alternative infant formula has been approved by health officials, which should help ease the nationwide shortage of the more-predominant versions of infant formula. 

“Kids are getting formula again,” she said.

The department is seeing more clients overall, Fricke said, which means more services are being provided that are eligible for reimbursement from Medicaid.

“I think it’s exciting we’re getting more people in here again,” she said.

The board’s next session is set for Monday, Sept. 26.

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