Denver Council supports creation of a county health department | Community News | #seniorliving | #elderly | #seniors
What happened: Denver Borough Council meeting, March 29.
What happened: Denver Borough Council members joined other local officials calling on Lancaster County to establish a county health department, which county commissioners have been reluctant to do so far, despite a yearlong pandemic. During the meeting, council members offered informal support to a March 8 letter and resolution initiated by Manheim Township to create a county health department. Borough Council did not take a formal vote on the resolution.
Quotable: “Lancaster County has a unique look to it with all of our senior living facilities. I think a local presence regarding health care would be helpful,” said council President Blake Daub, who is a senior vice president at Lititz-based Luthercare, a nonprofit organization that operates retirement communities including Luther Acres where an outbreak of COVID-19 claimed the lives of nursing home residents.
Also: Councilperson Todd Stewart, who said he’s not always one for more government, pointed out that a county health department could have been useful with the pandemic. The COVID-19 death toll at the Gardens at Stevens, a Denver Borough nursing home, saw nearly all of its residents infected with the virus and a death toll of at least 30.
Background: In their resolution, Manheim Township commissioners noted problems in making health-related decisions during the pandemic without a county health department. They mentioned a “nightmarish rollout” of COVID-19 vaccines. The resolution states, “There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania and of the largest seven, all but Lancaster County and Delaware County have public health departments, and Delaware County is preparing to launch one.” A Franklin & Marshall College poll showed overwhelming support last fall among Lancaster County residents for the establishment of a county public health department.
What’s next: Borough Manager Mike Hession said, after the meeting, he plans to obtain additional information and then provide that summary with a draft resolution for Denver Borough Council to consider.
Other business: Councilpersons Kalie Johnson and Matt Stover reported on a second round for the submission of a new design of banners adorning the town’s streets. Council agreed to solicit designs using the borough seal on the sign at the municipal building and patriotic colors. Once a design is chosen, the opportunity to extend the use of the design on a flag for merchants will be offered. In other communities businesses use a smaller, community logo flag to indicate they are open. Sixty of the borough’s original 73 veteran banners reached their two-year time limit in 2020. The cost for all of the 24-by-48-inch banners is approximately $5,500.