Douglas County will continue to receive all public health services from Tri-County Health Department until at least the end of 2022 after the two entities came to an agreement that was approved by the county commissioners during a Tuesday work session.
The county will still have its own board of health in charge of things like local public health orders, but the residents will receive services “as though the county were still a member of TCHD,” according to an agreement between the two entities.
The county will continue to pay its proportional share of the cost of Tri-County services, according to the agreement. In 2021, the county paid $2.5 million for services, according to a spokesperson.
“Nothing could be less political than this decision today,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon in a business meeting later that day.
The commissioners officially voted on Sept. 7 to form their own health department after Tri-County’s Board of Health decided to no longer allow any entities to opt out of public health orders and put in place a mask mandate for all students. That order is still in place until the county’s new board of health meets.
“Gratitude is a good word to use for how I feel right now,” Commissioner Lora Thomas said in the business meeting.
The agreement comes after Tri-County and “the other members of TCHD” challenged the county’s legal ability to leave the health department without the usual a one-year advance notice, according to the agreement between Tri-County and Douglas County.