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Supervisors Continue Discussions on COVID, Tax Increment Financing

May 22, 2020
By Joseph Schany , Emmetsburg News

by Joseph Schany

It was business as usual for the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors as they met in regular session on Tuesday morning, May 19. Due to the continued health crisis, the meeting was held by conference call.

Mark Hunefeld, Palo Alto County Emergency Management Agency, provided a brief update to the Board regarding COVID-19 in the county.

"As of today we've had 109 people tested for COVID, " began Hunefeld. "We got our second positive case in the county last week which is not surprising. We expect to see some more in the future. The hospital has gone to a Level 5 which basically means there will be no visitors allowed in the hospital with a few exceptions."

According to Palo Alto County Health System (PACHS), updated Level 5 visitor restrictions are as follows:

Med Surg/Inpatient- No visitors EXCEPT Pediatric patients will be allowed 1 designated parent to stay during hospitalization. Room-in options and meals provided for parent.

ER- No one allowed to accompany patient, only to drop off and pick up, EXCEPT Pediatric Patients will be allowed 1 designated parent.

OB- No visitors. Birth Partner to stay on site the entire time along with Mom/Baby, once leaves the premises, will not be allowed back in until patient is discharged. Room-in options and meals provided for birth partner.

Surgery- No one allowed to accompany patient, only to drop off and pick up, EXCEPT Pediatric Patients will be allowed 1 designated parent.

Outpatient Services- No visitors to accompany patient to Infusions, Rehab Services, Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab, Laboratory, EXCEPT Pediatric patients will be allowed 1 designated parent, and patients requiring mental or physical support will be allowed 1 designated support person.

Hospice Inpatient/ Respite- Will follow similar Nursing Home guidelines. No one under the age of 18. Immediate family only (spouse, children, siblings, parents) with 2 visitors at a time. Clergy allowed.

Family Practice Clinics- No one allowed to accompany patient, only to drop off and pick up, EXCEPT Pediatric Patients will be allowed 1 designated parent, and patients requiring mental or physical support will be allowed 1 designated support person.

PARC Hall- Will continue with no visitors.

Note: Extenuating circumstances for additional visitors decided by Provider and Leadership.

Board Chair Roger Faulstick asked, "Does the hospital have plenty of tests if needed?"

"Yes, we are good to go," responded Hunefeld. "Also, Test Iowa is in place for those who want to get online and take the online assessment (www.testiowa.com). They can go through the protocol and answer the questions about fevers, coughs, exposures, and things like that. It will let you know if you're a candidate to be tested and then it will give you advice to either go to your hospital or go to a testing site which they've got set up in Storm Lake at this time."

In other business, the Board spoke to Travis Squires, Public Financing at Piper Sandler, and John Danos, Bonding Attorney, continuing previous discussions regarding the details of tax increment financing (TIF) numbers in relation to the ongoing Urban Renewal Projects existing in Palo Alto County, as well as new opportunities down the road.

As the conversation is ongoing, it was suggested to the Board to identify projects to undertake like county infrastructure and other community development options, even assistance of private enterprise, and the financing specifics can be discussed in further detail once identified.

Squires informed the Board he will be looking into the projects currently in progress and report back with TIF specifics at a later date.

 
 
 

 

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