At this week’s county board meeting there was a discussion on the measles outbreak in Minnesota. There have been 78 cases statewide, 71 haven’t had vaccinations, 74 of the cases are in children ages 0-17, and four cases are in adults. Sixty-five of the cases are in Somali Minnesotans, the Southwest Minnesota Immunization Information Connection attributes it to a large part of the Somali community that believes vaccinations cause autism. The discussion then turned to the issue of people in general having the view that vaccinations cause autism and that it’s a very dangerous thing because it’s led to a larger percentage of kids not being vaccinated.

The percentage of kids with no MMR by birth year is at 14%, that’s up 4% from last year and has continued the trend upward the last couple up years. In response to this Governor Mark Dayton has diverted five million dollars in funds to deal with the outbreak, but it was argued that most of that money wouldn’t have been needed and this whole issue could have been avoided if more money was spent on preventative care and the public was better informed about vaccinations. There was also a discussion with the wellness committee about their plans and actions in the community.

The committee discussed its latest projects like promoting local farmers markets, promoting the fruit club, they are selling cookbooks, and hosting their wellness classes at the KCC. They also discussed their grant for one thousand dollars for a community bike program. They started by ordering four bikes and four locks. The locks highlight a problem with the program that was discussed at the last Granite Falls City Council meeting, people have been stealing the bikes. The city council discussed the possibility of a checkout system but there weren’t really any specific details given about the bike plan at the county board meeting.

In other news:

•Board members discussed their experience sitting in on a social service meeting, expressing their appreciation and surprise at the care and time that goes into the social service process.

•There was a discussion about wifi speeds for farmers in rural minnesota. One step needed is doing a feasibility study to see how many people are interested in having broadband as opposed to a fiber connection. The board expressed concerned about who would carry out the survey and how much those people would need to be paid.

•The Board also discussed closing the day care at the Minnesota West Campus by the first of next year. The reason for it’s closing is due to it being considered nothing more than a day care center because it got rid of it’s head start program.