County Board meets in person for first time in over a year

On Tuesday, June 15, the County Board met in person for the first time in more than a year.

OREGON – What a difference a year makes. 

Last year, the Ogle County Board was holding tele meetings, with board members and the public calling in. And when Kyle Auman, Public Health Administrator for the county, reported to the board, the news on COVID-19 cases was generally bad. 

But on Tuesday, June 15, the County Board met in person for the first time in more than a year. And Auman didn’t have bad news. 

“Happy to be coming here finally with some better news than I … did in the past,” he said. “Things are starting to trend in the right direction for us.” 

Auman told the board that the 7-day positivity rate for the region was 1.5 percent. That number for Ogle County was 1.8 percent. He said hospital bed availability was also up. 

For the county, there have been 6,200 cases of COVID, with 83 deaths. The number of deaths has been steady for a couple of months. 

Currently, 20,628 vaccines have been given in the county, with 20,025 people living in Ogle County being fully vaccinated – 39.32 percent of the population. Of those vaccinated, 77 percent are ages 65 and over. 

“Happy about those numbers,” Auman said. “We still want to try to get as many people vaccinated in Ogle County as we can.” 

So the county is still running vaccination events. And Auman said the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be offered for the rest of the summer. 

He said as the state is now in Phase 5, the only places where masks are still mandatory are health care facilities, schools and on mass transit. 

“You have done an amazing job getting through this,” County Board Chairman John Finfrock told Auman after his update. 

In other action, Bruce E. Larson was sworn in to represent District 5. He replaces Marty Typer, who resigned last month after being elected Village President in Stillman Valley. 

Finfrock opened the meeting by pointing out this is the first face-to-face meeting of the board since last year. 

“Nice to see everyone here,” he said. “Good to be back.” 

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