Fighting a pandemic
At the start of 2021, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment worked, with assistance from other county departments and many community partners, to get vaccinations into the arms of Johnson County residents. As different groups of adults, then different age groups, became eligible, followed
by the recommendations on third doses and boosters, JCDHE, health care systems and other partners administered thousands of vaccines in multiple locations. County efforts ranged from mass vaccination clinics (including a short-term, dedicated mass clinic site) to a mobile clinic bringing the life-saving doses closer to those experiencing barriers to traveling to a mass clinic site. JCDHE, Emergency Management and the Department of Technology and Innovation collaborated on vital online interest surveys, appointment tools and notiﬁcation systems.
…slowing down spread in schools
JCDHE experts worked with schools throughout 2021, offering expertise and guidance to help protect students and staff from virus spread. Speciﬁcally, they assisted with testing, vaccinations, contact tracing and disease investigations in a joint effort to keep children and teens in school.
The Board of Public Health, JCDHE and our local public health officer closely monitored the data all year and made recommendations and decisions to help protect the community through the various pandemic stages. At the start of 2021, the BOCC and county staff created a method for the community to make virtual public comments at meetings. On May 1, Johnson County transitioned from a public health order to a strong recommendation for indoor masking, physical distancing and vaccinations. On Aug. 5, the Board of Public Health issued a public health order requiring masks in school buildings attended by students up to and including sixth grade.
…equitably distributing funding and PPE
Throughout 2021, Johnson County Government, led by the County Manager’s Office and the Department of Financial Management and Administration, continued to distribute CARES Act federal funds to taxing jurisdictions, community organizations and towards our own response and recovery efforts. By the end of 2021, our organization had successfully distributed more than $116 million for economic and community assistance, emergency response, public health and county operations. Led by our Emergency Management division, the county continued to get Personal Protective Equipment such as face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and reusable gowns to businesses and organizations that needed it to protect the health and safety of their employees.
…communication and information sharing
Similar to the prior year, JCDHE and the county's Public Information Office partnered with others in the community to constantly share information as news about the pandemic developed. JCDHE and the Department of Technology and Innovation continued to upgrade the COVID-19 dashboard to ensure the community and policymakers had access to the latest data.