There was concern, but not a great public worry.
That’s the way Ellis County Health Administrator Butch Schlyer summed up five cases of viral meningitis in the county Monday night at the Ellis County Commission meeting at the Administrative Center.
Two of the cases were reported at Hays Middle School, and three more were reported at Hays High School during the last month.
“There was definitely concern for all of us involved,” Schlyer said though.
He said he was in contact with Mary Ann Shorman, head nurse at Hays USD 489, about the cases.
Schlyer said one case of West Nile Virus was reported during the month, leading to a report of viral meningitis.
He also said one case of pertussis, or whooping cough, was reported at a day care in town. The child had been vaccinated, as had the other children at the day care.
He also said there was one reported case of Hepatitis C in the county, but it was unrelated to other cases reported in the past years.
Schlyer also urged the public to know flu-shot season is now here.
“We’re beginning to start our flu-shot campaign,” he said.
Schlyer said the health department will begin its walk-in clinic soon for people in the community to get the shot.
In other business Monday, commissioners:
• Approved a low bid of $148,530.70 to L&M Construction in Great Bend for replacement of a bridge on Emmeram Road. The engineer’s estimate was $152,845, and four bids were received. All bids were within approximately $4,000 of each other.
• Approved the listing of additional items on Purple Wave auction site for sale by Ellis County Public Works.
• Told Emergency Medical Services Director Kerry McCue to go ahead with hiring three employees to replace positions. McCue had been in contact with commissioners and accountant Ken Beran previously. Two positions are open now, and McCue said he is expecting another employee to retire soon. The positions are budgeted for in 2015-16.
• Approved 2-0 for building and grounds supervisor Greg Erbert to begin the process to purchase a pickup for the department in the amount not to exceed $14,500.
• Approved 2-0 an open bid of $136,900 for the sale of the rural fire building at 1208 Cedar in Hays. Paul-Wertenberger Investments had the highest bid. Ten bids were received, with the lowest at $40,000. Rural Fire Chief Darin Myers said he hoped the transfer of the building could be done Nov. 1.
• Approved 2-0 the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission members resolution for 2015 to 2018.
• Approved 2-0 the zoning regulation application fees.
• Agreed the county should continue as a member of the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. No vote was needed.
• Entered into executive session for 15 minutes to discuss union negotiations with Commissioners Dean Haselhorst and Barbara Wasinger and county attorney Bill Jeter. No action was taken after the session. Commission Chairwoman Marcy McClelland was absent from the meeting.