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Mohave County prepares for possible second wave of virus

Denise Burley, Mohave County’s director of public health, addresses the county board of supervisors at a recent meeting. (Miner file photo)

Denise Burley, Mohave County’s director of public health, addresses the county board of supervisors at a recent meeting. (Miner file photo)

KINGMAN – Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson of District 3 had questions regarding a potential second wave of COVID-19 at a meeting on Monday, Sept. 28. He inquired about the future of the county’s COVID-19 case investigators, as well as the level of preparedness in long-term care facilities around the county if a second wave occurs.

County Public Health Director Denise Burley told Johnson he had valid concerns.

“We have lost some people to attrition,” she said of the investigators, adding some found other jobs. Others work mainly with the local schools now, Burley said.

Johnson’s main concern was to keep those investigators employed and busy in case of a second wave of the coronavirus.

Burley replied she is definitely open to thoughts and suggestions from the board.

She said she believes the county’s long-term care facilities are much better prepared for the potential second wave than the first.

“Each has testing equipment,” Burley said.

Her department also asked the board’s permission to make a change relating to dates in the reporting of COVID-19 cases.

Instead of using the day a case was reported, the county will start going by the date of diagnosis, said county epidemiologist, Mary Schumacher, who is in charge of the department’s data team.

The benefit of that shift is to provide more accurate measures for the Arizona Department of Health Services’ decisions on schools and businesses.

“It just gives us a better idea when the infection was circulating in the community,” Schumacher said.

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