May 21, 2020 11:35 AM

Reno County Health Department ready if further response required

Posted May 21, 2020 11:35 AM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Reno County Health Department Director Nick Baldetti believes his department is strong in the areas it needs to be for any further COVID-19 response required.

"This environment that we've transitioned into now, specifically for Kansas and for Reno County is just that, a heavy reliance on our public health infrastructure and our ability to do case contact tracing and disease investigation and epidemiology," Baldetti said. "Honestly, that's what Public Health does. It's kind of our bread and butter."

Reno County is devoting more resources toward epidemiology right now.

"Traditionally, we've had one academically trained epidemiologist," Baldetti said. "Up to this point, one has kind of been able to handle the load pre-COVID, if you will. Since this has kind of begun to evolve over the last number of months, we have an academically trained epidemiologist, a senior epidemiologist and then we have an epi team now that is overflow, in terms of the case contact tracing if we should be put into a position where we have a number of active cases."

Policymakers are still overseeing the process, as well.

"Communications and conversations continue to happen with the Board of County Commissioners who also act as our Reno County Board of Health and our County Administrator, who have all been poised to reassess the resources that we have, should we need to, rather quickly, as well," Baldetti said. "I feel confident from that standpoint in terms of our infrastructure from a Public Health perspective to respond to what we need to do."

There are no active cases of COVID-19 with laboratory confirmed diagnosis as of Thursday morning.