Flags in front of the Kiowa County Courthouse in Eads, Colorado. The building is surrounded by trees.

Kiowa County Commissioners special meeting – March 18, 2020

Kiowa County Courthouse in Eads, Colorado. © Chris Sorensen

The Kiowa County Commissioner’s Special Meeting was called to order on March 18, 2020 at 10:17 a.m.

by Chairman, Richard Scott. Due to the teleconference the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer were excused. Those in attendance by phone or in person were:

  • Richard Scott, Chairman
  • Donald Oswald, Commissioner 
  • Howard “Butch” Robertson, Commissioner
  • Delisa Weeks, County Clerk
  • Tina Adamson, County Administrator 
  • Casey Sheridan, County Sheriff
  • Donald Steerman, County Attorney 
  • Marci Miller, County Assessor 
  • Diana Flory, County Treasurer
  • Shellie Engelhardt, Emergency Manager
  • Kemma Alfano, Library Administrator
  • Charlene Korrell, CEO of Weisbrod Memorial Hospital  
  • David Lenderts, Medical Director 
  • Ellen Lane, Chief Nursing Officer 
  • Dawn Back, Physician Assistant 
  • Meaghan Hillman, Nurse Public Health Director
  • Kris Stokke, Emergency Preparedness 
  • Dennis Pearson , Director of Department of Social Services
  • Audrey Johnson, Lead Caseworker for DSS

Chairman Richard Scott explained the reason as to why this special meeting was being held in regards to the Coronavirus pandemic. Scott moved and Robertson seconded the motion to Adopt Resolution #2020-02 Kiowa County local Disaster Emergency Declaration: COVID-19. Motion carried. 

Discussion followed with Department of Public Health Meaghan Hillman explaining the concerns she has for Kiowa County. She explained things are changing rapidly and she is trying to get more supplies for our hospital but the Front Range is receiving the majority of the supplies. Hillman explained that the key thing people can do is to wash your hands. She said that would be the quickest way to break the cycle. Testing kits, N-95 masks and PPE’s seem to be the greatest need.

Charlene Korrell, CEO of Weisbrod explained the different concerns the hospital has and that they are following the guidelines of CDPHE. Chief of Nursing, Ellen Lane, explained that the hospital staff has been well versed as to what will happen when a person with the virus comes to the hospital. She explained if the Front Range can not accept Covid-19 patients then we will handle them here on the local level. 

Physician Assistant, Dawn Back questioned the specifics as to whether there were certain hospitals that were in place for those with other health issue such as broken hips. Hillman said no.

Chairman Scott then asked each elected official what their concerns were. The consensus was that they wanted to protect their employees and the public. Hillman did express her recommendation of closing the courthouse.

Oswald moved and Robertson seconded the motion to close the Kiowa County Courthouse until further notice. The employees will remain at work doing their daily processes and accepting very limited contact with the public and in some circumstances there will be a need to schedule an appointment with a customer. 

Social Service Director Dennis Pearson and Caseworker Audrey Johnson asked for considerations for the Department of Social Services. Pearson asked if they could close the lobby to appointments due to the changes being passed. Oswald moved and Robertson seconded the motion to authorize the Kiowa County Department of Social Services to enact temporary policies that at the Kiowa County Department of Social Services Director’s discretion as may be necessary to protect the staff and clients including policies limiting face to face contact with clients by closing the lobby and putting up signs with contact information to schedule appointments and to comply with rules and regulations issued by the State of Colorado as they are issued, and to reasonably limit supervised visitations and home visits in any manner reasonably calculated to protect the families and Child Welfare Staff in order to allow Social Services to comply with orders and rule and regulations issued by the State of Colorado as may be issued pursuant to the emergency conditions caused by the COVID-19 requirements.

Emergency Manager, Shellie Engelhardt reported that Kiowa Healthmart and Crow’s Stop and Shop will offer delivery and curbside service to limit exposure during this crisis. 

Engelhardt will also be contacting all the local businesses that may be feeling effects of the pandemic financially. She said there are small business loans that can be applied for to assist at this time.

Administrator Adamson will put a notice in the 2 newspapers as to what county services may be interrupted due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In this notice it will have contact phone numbers, e-mail addresses and other general information of how each entity can be contacted.

With no other business to discuss, Scott moved and Robertson seconded the motion to adjourn the teleconference meeting at 11:59 a.m. Motion carried.