Pottawatomie County officials will soon decide whether to reduce the recommended COVID-19 quarantine length from 14 days to 10 or seven days to be in line with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Leslie Campbell, Pottawatomie County health director, says she is not certain a change would do much to change the habits of local residents.
“People are going to quarantine or they’re not going to quarantine, doesn’t matter if it’s for 10 days or 14 days,” Campbell said.
Pat Weixelman, Pottawatomie County commissioner, says he is frustrated by how often COVID-19 guidelines change.
“If it needs to be 10 to 14 days, they’re shooting themselves in the foot if they’re saying they’re going to move it back to seven,” Weixelman said. “There’s nothing set in stone on this. It’s just a constant moving target as far as what you should be doing against what needs to be done.”
Campbell said during Monday’s meeting that she will soon meet with other local health officials to discuss potential guideline alterations.
Public Works job openings
Pottawatomie County has two job openings now that Peter Clark, former Pottawatomie County Public Works director, is gone.
Crystal Malchose, human resources director, says the duties of Clark’s old position will be split between a county engineer and Public Works administrator in order to lessen the workload.
“We found out probably a bit too late that that was probably a bit too much for one person to handle,” Malchose said.
Weixelman says he doesn’t like the idea of hiring an additional person.
While the county could soon hire an administrator, it will likely hold off on hiring an engineer until more people apply for the position.
In the meantime, some of the engineering duties will be given to Topeka-based engineering firm Bartlett and West.
Greg Riat, county commissioner, is leading the charge in forming a group to explore how the old Pottawatomie County Courthouse can be used in the future.
Riat says the courthouse has been around for a longtime and he wants to put forth the effort to make use of it.
“Let’s give it the due diligence to look at it,” Riat said. “It served us for over 100 years. Can’t we give it a little bit of time and effort?”
Dee McKee, County commissioner, says she doesn’t think right now is a good time to spend time and effort on a project such as this one.
“I’m already putting in five days a week on (the) CARES (Act) and COVID and other things that I have committed to and that’s not, until we a little further down the line, something that can have a priority in my life,” McKee said.
Weixelman says he is also hesitant to do anything with the courthouse right now due to high restoration costs.
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