WORTHINGTON — In a special meeting of the Nobles County Board of Commissioners Wednesday morning, an agreement was approved between the county's Community Services-Public Health Department and Hennepin Healthcare to lead a free community flu shot clinic for local residents.
Hennepin Healthcare will provide two trained nursing staff, the vaccine and all of the supplies necessary to operate the clinic, which is planned from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 4 at the Worthington Fire Hall.
Vaccinations will be given free of charge to local individuals who do not have insurance or other coverage, and Hennepin Healthcare will bill insurance for those who do have coverage.
Also on Wednesday, commissioners authorized the hiring of two temporary employees for Nobles County Community Services to assist the state with contract tracing related to the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
Community Services Administrator Stacie Golombiecki said the state system has become overwhelmed and is willing to fully fund up to two staff for Nobles County to do contact tracing. The state has offered funding to pay for two positions through December, and Golombiecki said she has two other potential sources — including CARES Act funds awarded earlier in the year — to fund two temporary workers through February.
Commissioners authorized hiring two individuals at a full-time temporary pay rate of $19.37 per hour. Golombiecki said she’s hoping to find bilingual individuals with some knowledge in medical terminology or with a health-related background.
In other action, the board:
Accepted a grant agreement with the Minnesota Historical Society for $198,301 to fund a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system for the Worthington Armory as it transitions into the new Nobles County Historical Society building. The grant was made possible through the state’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, established through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment approved by voters in 2008.
The grant will require a $25,000 match to be raised by the NCHS capital improvement committee.
Approved a contract extension with attorney Travis Smith to provide prosecutorial services for the Nobles County Attorney’s office. The extension will go through the end of this year, as a new assistant county attorney has been hired and will start Jan. 4.
Received an update on the county’s balance of CARES Act dollars. All dollars in the fund are to be distributed by Dec. 1. Deputy Nobles County Administrator Bruce Heitkamp said leftover funds were received from the cities of Worthington, Wilmont and Bigelow, and that after distributions to small businesses, nonprofits, hospitals, clinics, school districts and long-term care facilities and others, $42,258 went to Nobles County as reimbursement for employees who were paid while quarantined or sick with COVID-19.