WORTHINGTON — Nearly 31% (6,719) of Nobles County’s residents have received their first dose of vaccine against COVID-19 and more than 19% (4,150) have received the complete series, according to Community Health Services Administrator and Public Health Supervisor Michelle Ebbers.

Ebbers gave a brief update on the coronavirus response to county commissioners during a Tuesday morning Nobles County Board of Commissioners meeting. She said the county is at one of the lowest isolation levels currently, with just nine residents within their 10-day window of isolation.

“We’re definitely trending in the right direction,” she shared.

Thus far, the local health department has met each benchmark set by Gov. Tim Walz, with 100% of doses administered within three days. Those eligible for the vaccine now include Phase 1B, Tiers 2 and 3, as well as Phase C, Tier 1.

Ebbers reported that all Nobles County nursing homes and assisted living facilities have received the vaccine, and a majority of those ages 65 and older have been vaccinated. Vaccination of child care workers is also complete, and work continues in vaccinating all school district employees who work in Early Childhood through 12th grade education.

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The Minnesota Department of Health will lead a vaccination clinic from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Worthington Event Center, with 1,000 doses available for individuals who work in food processing and the agriculture sector. The Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine will be administered.

Individuals are asked to sign up for vaccine at https://mn.gov/vaccineconnector.

In other action, the board:

  • Welcomed new Nobles County Veterans Services Officer Jim Dunn. A swearing-in ceremony was conducted by board chairman Gene Metz.

  • Approved an amended Prairie Justice Center lease agreement with the city of Worthington to account for the capital improvement projects completed in the last couple of years, including replacement of the chiller, the addition to the garage, replacement of the roof and completion of several smaller projects.

  • Moved to support the Nobles County Historical Society’s application on behalf of Nobles County for a $20,000 State Capital Projects Grants-in-Aid program. The grant supports historic preservation of publicly owned buildings. If awarded the grant, NCHS will use the funds to tuck point the garage portion of the armory building.

  • Declared a 2012 Caterpillar track skid loader in the public works department as surplus property to be offered for sale in an online auction. The skid loader was replaced with a John Deere track skid loader.

  • Authorized advertisement for bids to replace two township bridges, one in Bigelow Township and the other in Olney Township. Both bridges will be replaced with precast concrete, with funding from the Town Bridge Account. Bid letting will be April 26, with the work scheduled for this fall.

  • Amended the county’s contract with Marsden Cleaning Services to provide cleaning services in the newly created IT and Data Center space in the former jail portion of the Nobles County Government Center. With the added space, Marsden requested an increase from $8,972 to $9,115.60.

  • Recognized social worker Tami Ehret, with Nobles County Community Services, for 20 years of service.

  • Approved the appointment of Peter Petersen, Arco, to the Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water Board, replacing Glen Grant, who resigned Dec. 15. Petersen will fill the remainder of Grant’s term to Dec. 31, 2022.

  • Approved an update to the county’s personnel policy related to ethics.