News Flash

County

Posted on: May 4, 2021

News from the May 4 County Board meeting

The following actions were taken at the May 4, 2021, Washington County Board of Commissioners meeting at the Government Center in Stillwater, Minnesota

County Board names residents to citizen advisory groups

The Washington County Board of Commissioners made a reappointment and an appointment to county citizen advisory groups May 4. Those appointments are:

  • Edward Marchan, West Lakeland Township, who was reappointed to a fourth term as a manager on the Valley Branch Watershed District, to a term expiring Nov. 13, 2023; and
  • Cole Williams, Cottage Grove, who was appointed to a first term as a manager on the South Washington Watershed District to a term expiring May 1, 2024.

County Board recognizes May as Mental Health Month in Washington County

The Washington County Board of Commissioners declared May as Mental Health Month in Washington County May 4.

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. Throughout the year, Washington County Community Services and Public Health & Environment departments fight stigma, provide mental health services, engage communities, and educate the public on mental health. Staff spends countless hours serving people, breaking down barriers to accessing services, and offering hope to those in need. Each year, the county joins the national movement to highlight May as a time to continue efforts to reduce stigma and raise awareness about mental health.

The county is committed to continuing efforts this year, acknowledging that 2021 is different. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, build awareness of mental health services, and open doors to the people of Washington County.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners endorses the observance of Mental Health Month during May 2021, and thanks and honors all of its employees who work every day to provide welcoming services that meet people where they are at, provide access at the right time and place, and offer hope for recovery and wellness.

County Board accepts state funds to provide vaccines for COVID-19

The Washington County Board of Commissioners accepted $1.3 million for COVID-19 response and vaccination distribution May 3.

The county is receiving federal funding through the Minnesota Department of Health for COVID-19 response and vaccine implementation. Funding will be used for vaccine distribution costs and initiatives to increase vaccinations in the community.

The money is to be used through Dec. 31. Costs that will be reimbursed include:

  • staff salary and fringe benefits;
  • subcontracts for vaccine administration;
  • purchase of supplies and equipment;
  • costs associated with vaccine clinics, such as  rent, security, and translation/interpreters;
  • expanded clinic hours and staff overtime;
  • community engagement and vaccinations in underserved communities;
  • promotion of vaccine confidence (messaging, videos, social medial, etc.); and
  • to address vaccine misinformation.

The programs include setting up a vaccination clinic in Stillwater, supporting mobile vaccination efforts, providing translation options, and creating community engagement sessions with cultural liaisons to diverse communities in the county.