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Fannin County establishes COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center
By Allen Rich
Jan 13, 2021
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Fannin County, Texas -- Pursuant to the Suspension Order by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the regular meeting of Fannin County Commissioners Court Tuesday, January 12, 2021 was closed out of precaution to protect the public, staff and members from potential exposure to COVID-19.

All five members of commissioners court participated, with the public participating via Zoom.

The meeting opened with an invocation by Joe Guest, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Leonard and pledges were led by Maj. James Manis (Ret.).

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Commissioners extended by one week the Fannin County Declaration of Disaster Proclamation for Covid-19, as well as the Covid-19 Response and Continuity of Operations Plan for Fannin County.

As of Monday afternoon, January 11, Fannin County had been notified of 1,889 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 304 probable cases, with 1,962 recoveries and 59 fatalities. The county currently has 194 active cases.

Last week Fannin County only had 99 active cases.

"That's what happened in one week," explained Fannin County Judge Randy Moore.

Trauma Service Area "E" has a 27.09% hospitalization rate.

"Our hospitals are full," Moore told county residents.

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Judge Moore provided an update regarding the on-going restoration of the 1888 Fannin County Courthouse.

Work for windows continues and decking is going on the roof. 

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Fannin County Commissioners Court discussed and then tabled the creation of a Courthouse Dedication Committee for the October 5 ceremony.

"I want it to be a fabulous event for the county, quite frankly," said Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey.

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Commissioners approved minutes from a regular meeting July 21, 2020.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court tabled a vote to transfer the Bond Supervision position from Fannin County to Fannin County Adult Probation, as requested by Cory Baker, the Adult Probation Director.

Mr. Baker asked for operating funds for four months -- approximately $20,000 -- and he suggested that a monthly financial report be made available to commissioners court. The Bond Supervision position would be located in Adult Probation.

Baker said he consulted with 336th District Judge Laurine Blake and Fannin County Court at-Law Judge Charles Butler and both gave a nod to this move.

"Let us get some advice from TAC [Texas Association of Counties] and maybe we can have an answer by next week," Judge Moore said to Baker.  

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Commissioners approved a one-time severance of 3.844 acres from a 52.527-acre tract on CR 1535 in Ector.

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Commissioners approved the short plat for the Grellhesl Addition on Private Road 491 in Leonard.  The 9.67-acre tract will be divided into four lots.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved the mailing of letters to various state officials from commissioners court regarding Senate Bills 234 and 749 and House Joint Resolution 32. The letter will be on the county website for review by residents.

https://www.billtrack50.com/billdetail/1246361

https://www.billtrack50.com/legislatordetail/20328

https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/billtext/pdf/HB00749I.pdf#navpanes=0

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Commissioners approved the renewal of a belly dump trailer lease with Brazos Truck Leasing for six months at $500 per month for Precinct 2.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved the final revision of the courthouse first-level floorplans.

This revision was necessary because the two JP clerks need to be in the larger office and Judge Butler suggested that criminal clerks be located next to his office. 

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Residents are inundating medical providers and various county offices with phone calls from residents who need information regarding the vaccine, which has prompted the county to establish a call center to compile a comprehensive list of county residents who are requesting to be inoculated.

"We have found there is a huge need for a one-call center and I think the county has the ability to do this," Judge Moore stated.

The public needs a centralized location to call," remarked Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness.

"It needs to be well organized because of all the coordination involved," Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey added.

This temporary position will pay $12 an hour, for a 40-hour work week for two months -- through March 10 -- at a cost of approximately $4,000.

Money will come out of CARES Act funding and the position will be under the auspices of the Emergency Management Coordinator. 

This list will be limited to county residents.

Whichever provider gives the first shot will coordinate second shot.

The phone number for Fannin County COVID Vaccine Call Center is 903-583-2189.

"I think it is one of the most beneficial things our county will do," Judge Moore noted.

The call center will place names on a comprehensive list, but providers will schedule inoculations when vaccines arrive. 

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Commissioners court held a short discussion regarding personnel or supplies for Covid-19 from the CARES Act Grant or other funding. 

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Commissioners approved the county auditor's monthly reports for December 2020.

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Commissioners approved payment of bills.

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In the segment of the meeting reserved for comments by commissioners and the county judge, Pct. 1 Commissioner Edwina Lane said she had a really busy first week and appreciated calls from residents and the response from her crew.

Pct. 2 Commissioner A.J. Self thanked the public for cooperating with the Zoom meeting and he looks forward to getting the call center operational.

"Once we get the call center set up and coordinated, it will benefit everyone in Fannin County," Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness predicted.

Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey called the regular meeting a "good productive meeting" and he expects the call center to be a good deal for everyone.

"Everybody stay safe and say a prayer for the county," Commissioner Lackey said.

Fannin County Judge Randy Moore explained that the county is limited by the number of vaccinations appropriated by the state.

"This last week, we did have a drive-through vaccination for first responders and teachers," Judge Moore stated.

Moore said the county is trying to set up a large-scale drive-through vaccination site in the future.

The county judge reiterated that the phone number to Fannin County COVID Vaccine Call Center is 903-583-2189 and the call center will open at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 12. Call between 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays) to get a response.

"Please be patient," Judge Moore requested. "They are simply taking names and contact information. The clinic or the hospital or pharmacy will call with the date/time of the vaccination."