COVID Numbers Declining
January 20, 2021
COVID conditions in Cheyenne County are improving, according to Sidney Public Schools Superintendent Jay Ehler.
The Sidney Public Schools Board of Education met in the Sidney High School Performing Arts Center on Jan.11. Much of the meeting was spent assigning roles to board members. As the meeting began, the night was recognized as the first meeting in several years with Steve Mattoon not an active part of the board.
Newly elected member Matt Wallace was absent that night, and Kathy Nienhueser attended the meeting via Zoom conference. As per Gov. Pete Ricketts, board members can conduct a meeting remotely through Jan. 31.
The board then appointed offices within the board. Tom Von Seggern returned as president by a 4-1 vote with Von Seggern abstaining, Mike Palmer was elected as vice-president on a 4-1 vote with Palmer abstaining and the board voting in favor of Deanna Kantor remaining the board secretary and Cindy Heilbrun as the board treasurer. The board also appointed representatives to various committees and recognized the official newspaper and radio station for the District.
Platte Valley Bank, Security First and Points West were designated as depositories for the District's General Fund, Security First will have the Payroll and the Petty Cash funds, Points West will manage the Depreciation and Bond funds and Security First with have the QCPUF.
In addition to recognizing the December students of the month, the board also recognized the All-State Award Winners for Fall Activities. They include: Cole Glanz and Mitchell Koozer (football), Daniel Bashtovoi and Rhett Dykstra (boys cross country), Rheo Dykstra and Lydia Peters (Girls Cross Country), Aubree Larson and Abrielle Steffens (Girls Golf), Morgan Jaggers and Brynna Ross (Volleyball), and Adarsha Ganesan and Hannah Ernst (Play Production).
The board also apporved.the Social Studies curriculum and the Fiscal Management for Purchasng and Procurement Using Federal Funds policy.
The board then approved the resignation of Carline Russel, Valerie Hoekema and Janet Volkmer.
In Superintendent Jay Ehler's report, he said most COVID-19 numbers are declining. Hospital numbers are beginning to decline. However, the number of patients needing ventilators is increasing, according to Ehler. He said most of the meeting from Jan. 5 centered around vaccinations. He said vaccines are excepted in February/March. Vaccines will not be mandatory in Sidney Public Schools. Of those surveyed, 68-69 percent of the 70 percent who returned the survey said they would like a vaccination. Ehler wants to schedule vaccinations for a Friday to give staff the weekend to recover from potential side affects.
The Panhandle Public Health District reported last week 31,472 tests have been conducted with 8,057 returning positive resulting in 156 deaths in the Panhandle. There were 346 cases in the previous two weeks and 14 hospitalizations. There were about 1,500 more female positive cases than male.