Richland County had two active COVID-19 cases as vaccinations slowly and steadily rise in Richland County, reported Health Services Director Kayla Carlson at the June 1 Richland County Commission meeting.

“I’m happy to report that we are down to two cases, which is quite a big downturn from the couple of months that I’ve been recording,” Carlson said.

At the last Richland County Commission meeting on May 19, there were seven active COVID-19 cases.

Approximately 56.4 percent of Richland County residents 18 and older had received one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Approximately 53.5 percent of Richland County residents 18 and older have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the Johnson and & Johnson vaccine.

As of Monday, June 7, there are three active cases in Richland County.

At the May 19 Richland County Commission meeting, approximately 55 percent of residents had received one dose and 51 percent of residents had up to date coverage.

The health department has also started vaccinating county students 12 and older.

“We have a lot of parents that are eager to get their kiddos vaccinated and return to normal school events and sporting events as they come up this summer,” Carlson said.

Since the last commission meeting, the health department vaccinated 16 students in Colfax, 22 students in Wyndmere and five in Lidgerwood.

6 months and older.

The Richland County Health Department will be hosting pop-up clinics outside the Richland-Wilkin Food Pantry last week following the success of the pop-up clinic at Downtown Alive.

Carlson said the convenience factor of pop-up clinics and the convenience of the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson vaccine has helped drive up vaccination rates.

The Richland County Health Department also partnered with the North Dakota Department of Health to host a free vaccine clinic at the Wahpeton Walmart from 1-6 p.m. Thursday, June 3.

Extension agent hiring

The commission approved hiring for the NDSU Extension agriculture and natural resources (ANR) position.

NDSU Extension East District Director Lesley Lubenow requested the commission allow the Extension to begin looking for a candidate, as the position has remained open for some time.

Lubenow said the Extension has been under a hiring chill, not hiring unless the position is essential.

The ANR agent’s salary is split between evenly between the county and NDSU, Lubenow said. The county also pays for the operating expenses.

“I’m confident that they’re going to find a qualified candidate. There’s people out there that are interested. I think we need to pursue this,” said Rollie Ehlert, Richland County commissioner.

The next Richland County Commission meeting is Tuesday, June 15.

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