In a Special Meeting on Tuesday afternoon, members of the Culver Town Council discussed COVID protocols and policies and discussed if any action should be taken.
Town Council member Rich West said nationally we are seeing over 100,000 new cases every day and in Marshall County, over the last two-week period we have averaged 19 new cases a day which is a 65% increase and a 103% increase in hospitalizations. He also noted that vaccination rates in Marshall County a much lower that the national averages with only 38% of the population fully vaccinated. Councilman West said 48% of those over 18-years-of-age are vaccinated in the county and 73% of citizens over the age of 65 are vaccinated.
Mr. West suggested mandating masks and placing restrictions on the size of gatherings in the town owned properties. He also wanted to strongly encourage Culver Town employees to get vaccinated and incentivize them and for those who are not vaccinated require routine testing. Rich also wanted to restrict visitors in the Town Council Chambers and continue with online meetings for the public.
It was suggested to review the sick leave policy for town employees. West suggested that full-time vaccinated employees use accrued sick time and have up to 10 additional paid days while full-time unvaccinated employees could use their accrued sick time but no additional paid time off due to COVID. Part-time town employees who are vaccinated could use their sick time and have 5 additional paid days while an unvaccinated town employee would be no paid time off.
Councilwoman Sally Ricciardi said the pandemic isn’t at a point that she would mandate masking but could see the town recommending masks. She thought it should be a personal choice.
Councilman Bill Cleavenger said he thought it was too early to move forward with mandates.
Several Culver residents attended the meeting online and were not in favor of having the town mandate masks and vaccinations.
There were a couple of motions made that didn’t move forward due to the lack of a second. Eventually Sally Ricciardi motioned to reinstate a portion of the pandemic leave policy from a resolution passed in 2020 pertaining to COVID-19. The policy would allow COVID positive Culver Town employees to receive regular compensation while on leave if testing positive or on quarantine. The temporary policy will be in effect until October12th for full and part-time town employees in case they become infected with COVID 19.
Her motion passed with a 3 to 1 vote with Bill Cleavenger being the only no vote and Bill Hamm being absent from the meeting.
The Culver Town Council will continue their discussion at their September meetings.