By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Carter County fiscal court met in special session on Monday to approve claims and to accept the sheriff’s quarterly report. After court adjourned, however, judge executive Mike Malone asked the court to briefly remain on their Zoom conference to discuss the state of COVID-19 vaccinations in the county.
Malone told the magistrates that he didn’t know if they were getting contacts from their constituents, but that he had been receiving contacts from Carter County citizens upset at the slow distribution of COVID vaccines. He wanted the magistrates to know that, if they received any such calls, the Carter County Health Department was administering vaccines as quickly as they could receive them. However, the county was only receiving 100 doses of the vaccine each week.
“That’s doses, not vials,” Malone clarified, noting that each vial contains multiple doses of the vaccine.
“Our health department could give 500 in a day, if we could get the vaccine,” Malone told the court.
He said he had been in contact with state representatives in Frankfort, as well as elected officials in Washington D.C., to see about freeing up more of the vaccine for local use, but all vaccines flow through Frankfort and right now the supply just isn’t available to meet the state’s needs. He said it doesn’t appear to be the fault of anyone in Frankfort, it is just the nature of the limited vaccine supply.
But, he said, while it appears there is nothing that can be done to increase the availability of the vaccine, other than wait for more doses to be manufactured, he acknowledged that the ongoing pandemic is taking a toll on the community. While part of that toll is economic, he said, as businesses struggled to stay open with a reduced customer base, the cost wasn’t all about money.
“It’s costing amounts we can’t even calculate, in lives and depression,” Malone said.
He urged the magistrates to remain sensitive to these issues, and the impact on families, and said his office would continue to pursue all avenues to bring more vaccine doses to the county.
In other action the court moved to accept the sheriff’s quarterly and moved to approve claims. These included $58,832.16 to the Carter County Sheriff, for salary reimbursement and 363.75 to Taylor Duncan for county inspection services. The court also approved a total of $58,652. 59 in jail claims, for Quality Correctional Health Care of Kentucky, and $21,895.79 from the road department to Hudson Materials for cold patch material. This material is used to make pothole repairs on county maintained roads.
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