SALEM — Another proposed language change regarding local health departments in the state budget bill is apparently to the city health district’s advantage.
Not long ago, board members feared the health district would be eliminated by Ohio House Bill 110, then they learned a language change was requiring a survey to show the efficiency of folding the city into the Columbiana County General Health District.
During Wednesday’s board meeting, city Health Commissioner Alanna Stainbrook said there’s new language again, stating if a health department in a city with a population under 50,000 is accredited or in the process of becoming accredited, they’ll be exempt from the study and have until December 2025 to get accredited.
The city health department is already in the process of getting accredited, with the application already submitted and a site visit expected later this year. Stainbrook said their timeline is putting an expected decision on accreditation in the first quarter of 2022, but even after the site visit, they could be asked to provide more documentation.
“It’s a very complicated process,” she said.
The proposed legislation, which is the state’s budget bill, remains pending.
In other business, the board learned a new deputy registrar is needed. Pat Howard submitted her resignation effective Friday. The deputy registrar is the backup for the registrar in the area of vital statistics, regarding birth and death certificates. The position is part-time and had been 14 hours a week but could be more than that in the future. Interested persons should send their resume to the Salem City Health District, 230 N. Lincoln Ave., Salem, Ohio 44460, Attention Health Commissioner.
Under vital statistics, Stainbrook discussed an increase in birth certificate requests according to the five-year average, noting the license bureau has been sending people their way due to their requirement for birth certificates with a seal to renew a license.
In reviewing the May nursing report, the board discussed the death of a resident from a rare brain disease that only affects one to two people out of 1 million and also heard about a decrease in people getting COVID shots and in COVID cases slightly up but still less than in earlier months. The number of positive cases in May was 33 and in April there were 26.
Board member Judy Sicilia spoke about an article she read in USA Today that indicated that the majority of people hospitalized recently with COVID had not received the vaccine. She said the message is pretty clear that vaccinated people aren’t requiring hospitalization if they contract COVID.
The environmental director’s report showed that three new restaurant businesses had been inspected and 24 inspections were done for the super cruise. Two illegal body art operations were being investigated and a mosquito trap from the city has been sent for testing of the mosquitos.
The board received notice that the cost for the lease at the KSU City Center office is being increased by 2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2022, increasing the cost to $5,845 per year.