By Lydia Kautz

Junction City Union

The Geary County Commission came together Monday for a regular meeting.

Commissioner Brad Scholz spoke about the county departments COVID-19 mitigation plans, which he has helped to facilitate.

Scholz did not have every department’s mitigation plan readily to hand to discuss, but said many of them would be available through individual department heads and online.

Several departments are putting in plexiglass to minimize contact with the public.

Just by way of example, this includes the Convention and Visitors Bureau which Scholz and Commission Chair Keith Ascher oversee as a county entity.

“Since Keith and I oversee the CVB, we thought it prudent that they get on a mitigation plan as soon as possible,” Scholz said. “When Michele (Stimatze) drafted that mitigation plan, we looked it over and and played with it and got it to where we thought her and her employees would be safe. And that’s why we thought about the plexiglass shield.”

Visitors will be able to pass documents back and forth under the plexiglass, he said, and there will be locking doors to control the flow of traffic in and out of the CVB office.

Other departments, including the County Treasurer’s office, have discussed putting in similar setups to protect against the spread of germs.

Each plan is unique to its department and written up by the person who heads up that department according to their needs.

“But I’m huge on the Plexiglas and everything,” Scholz said. “And hand sanitizer and washing the hands — the hygiene stuff — because that’s huge. That’s the main way it’s transmitted. And that’s why everyone should have a mitigation plan.”

Scholz was unable to present a price for the county departments’ mitigation plans because individual department heads are currently getting costs together for their individual plans.

“Some of those plans, they’re, they’re still amending as we go … So it’ll be a living document, I think, for a long time,” he said.

Scholz did say Geary County Emergency Management had requested all department heads save receipts from any COVID-19 related expenses, from PPE to hand sanitizer to modifications such as the ones mentioned in the mitigation plans. These expenses can “possibly” be reimbursed up to 75 percent by the federal government, Scholz said.

County Counsellor Steve Opat said plans that involved security measures would not be public records.

Scholz went on to talk about the role of mitigation plans in the broader community and the ways in which such plans could help businesses stay open, using a memorandum of understanding to enforce rules that would prevent the spread of disease.

“I don’t see any reason why all businesses can’t be open with an appropriate mitigation plan,” he said.

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