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Belmont Health Dept. filling posts, preparing for future | News, Sports, Jobs

ST. CLAIRSVILLE ­– The Belmont County Health Department is trying to fill some positions because it prepares to tackle extra obligations.

Among these to be employed is a contact tracer to get in contact with individuals who might need been uncovered to COVID-19.

For months, the state has been contracting with PCG public consulting group to deal with the duties of tracing contacts of latest COVID-19 circumstances. Belmont County Health Department Deputy Commissioner Robert Sproul mentioned this contract is ending and call tracing will fall again on the county departments.

“As soon as PCG stops, it’ll be back on us, so we’ll be responsible for dealing with that. We’re still working on the details of that. We’re waiting to see exactly what that looks like for us,” Sproul mentioned.

However, Sproul mentioned though the job title could be the identical, the scope of labor shall be much less in comparison with duties through the peak of the pandemic, when contact tracers would get in contact with anybody who might need been uncovered to the virus every time a brand new case of COVID-19 could be reported. The tracer would focus solely on circumstances amongst susceptible populations.

“It’s going to be the congregate facilities and hospitalizations, that’s where we’re going to focus,” Sproul mentioned. “There’s a new grant (from the state) coming out to help with that (position).”

He mentioned the division can be pursuing completely different grant packages.

“Our numbers are staying down and there’s no hospitalizations as of today, and again our deaths have not moved. We’re looking pretty good, and I hope it continues,” he mentioned. “There’s no monkeypox in Belmont County. There was just one case in Ohio. As long as we keep that path, we’re good.”

Sproul mentioned extra staffing adjustments are within the works, with a search for 5 new employees members not counting the contact tracer place. He mentioned employees members are retiring or transferring to different jobs. These embrace a medical assistant, a secretary, a fiscal assistant, a grant officer and a publish within the important statistics division.

“We’re interviewing and we’re hoping to fill those spots and keep moving forward,” he mentioned. “Some of them have (left), that’s the problem when you put a two-week notice in. By the time you post, interview, it’s kind of tough because they’ve moved on and you lose that experience and knowledge because they’ve gone out the door and you’re training a new person.”

Talks are nonetheless ongoing with the Belmont County Board of Commissioners about the potential for a brand new and bigger well being division constructing, with extra parking area and room for division actions.

“That would be great,” Sproul mentioned. “It sounds like it’s still moving forward, which is great. With everything in government it takes time and it’s a process.”

Sproul and county leaders have mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic had underscored the significance of the well being division’s work, and though the constructing is ample, there have been difficulties in assembly the strains that arose through the pandemic.

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