Legislature honors outgoing public health director
YATES COUNTY--With Yates County Public Health Director Deborah Minor retiring at the end of February, the Yates County Legislature voted to honor her during the Monday, Feb. 8 legislative meeting. Along with announcing Minor's retirement, the board also announced that Nurse Practitioner Annmarie Flanagan will be the person chosen to replace Minor.
"I just want to say thanks to everyone and thank you for the opportunity, I have a great successor and a wonderful staff," Minor said.
The legislature honored Minor not only for her work during the pandemic but for achieving national accreditation for the health department, devising a strategic plan and more.
"Deb has done a great job for the county and we will miss her terribly," Legislative Chair Douglas Paddock said. "However we welcome Annmarie Flanagan as public health director and we expect she won't miss a beat."
Before being honored, Minor updated legislators on the county's current COVID situation.
"We have 10 new cases with a total of 1060 positive cases during the pandemic," Minor stated. "We still have five people in the hospital and unfortunately I have to report two additional deaths. One was a person in their 70s the other was in their 90s for a total of 24 deaths."
She added 203 people remain in isolation or quarantine and there are 46 active cases as of the morning of Feb. 8.
"The good news is that the numbers continue to go down of new cases," Minor said. "This morning we only received one new positive case and that is a good trend and I hope it continues."
Testing is still occurring in Yates for COVID, with Finger Lakes Community Health offering one rapid response test per week that requires an appointment to attend. Minor added the county health department is also conducting testing clinics and is in the process of putting together one for the end of February.
"In terms of COVID vaccine, it continues to be small amounts coming into the counties," Minor mentioned. "We have received 700 doses here at the health department and we are anticipating another 100 tomorrow. That is the typical day we expect the vaccine to come."
Despite the fact that vaccine supplies have yet to increase dramatically, Minor said Gov. Cuomo recently announced that individuals with co-morbidities, which includes conditions like diabetes, cancer, obesity and more, will be eligible mid-February to receive the vaccine.
"We are still waiting for more clarification on certain aspects of how eligibility will be demonstrated," Minor said. "That will be a challenge. And we don't know how much more vaccine will be coming into New York state to help with that. Hopefully, it's a larger supply because 100 doses do not go far each week."
Paddock added he has noticed a great deal of confusion surrounding the state's COVID response, but he has been impressed with how Minor and the health department have managed.
"We are following it to the letter but there is a lot of information we still don't have," Minor said.
While the most efficient means for making a vaccination appointment remains online, Minor said her office is working with the Yates County Office for the Aging to devise means to help elderly people in the county who not only have no access to the internet but no access to families or friends who might help.