September 23, 2021
September 23, 2021
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
10:00 County Attorney Alex Nixon met for his weekly meeting. Public Health Coordinator Erin Cross was in attendance. Cross discussed HIPPA restrictions in regard to revealing COVID positives to School designees. Cross is concerned about County’s HIPPA liability with releasing information without a parental release form. School would have different rules under FERPA for releasing information. Bullock noted has had conversations with Red Lodge and Roberts Superintendents and recommended they contact their contracted School Nurse for information on student or faculty COVID status. Red Lodge Superintendent Fitzgerald is concerned about students coming to school after a positive test. Commissioners confirmed their support of the current Public Health protocol that does not involve Public Health formal contact tracing and puts burden to identify contacts on the positive patient; do not have staff to do more in-depth contact tracing. Deputy County Attorney Robert Spoja joined the meeting. Discussion regarding recovered positives that need to be removed from State’s MIDIS system; the process to close a case is time consuming and Cross has put it on the backburner to contact new positives. Cross noted there is also a 2-7 day window before test results become available; most of the positives she is seeing have been symptomatic for 5-7 days before testing and are almost out of their quarantine period when she gets results. Both issues have resulted in an inflated number of Carbon County positives on the State COVID dashboard.
10:35 Meeting closed to discuss personnel issues.
10:54 Meeting reopened. Blain moved to appoint Robert Spoja as the County Public Administrator under 72-5-415 MCA; Miller seconded; discussion that this position is to assist with the management of indigent burials and managing the estate. Miller seconded. Motion carried.
Miller moved to accept Commissioner proceedings for August 31, 2021; Blain seconded; motion carried.
11:00 Tori Kolkhorst from Senator Daines Office met with Commissioners for an update. Discussed forest treatments; Bullock noted County is considering signing letter for amicus brief to legal challenge that stopped logging in the County. Bullock noted the
September 23, 2021 (cont.)
undergrowth and fuel in those areas that are meant to be logged, is similar to the area that burned in the Robertson Draw fire. Blain discussed DNRC initial attack on fires; Commissioners noted in the Harris Fire “roads” were created for a fire line, but not sure if/when DNRC plans to reclaim the roads or repair fence that was removed to create them. The Harris Fire did not qualify for Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) funding. Miller noted the created roads are affecting water runoff and weed management. Discussion regarding FAA funding for KRED, COVID and masking on school buses.