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Isanti County Sheriff Chris Caulk receives his second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine with the help of Isanti County Public Health Nurse Dawn Fiedler on Feb. 3. Photo by Sarv Mithaqiyan

After 28 days, Isanti County front-line workers received their second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Feb. 3 at the Isanti Public Health Department.

Isanti County Sheriff Chris Caulk was one of many front-line workers who completed their second shot of the vaccine. After Caulk received his first dose, he said it felt like the flu shot.

“I think everybody has got to have their own level of comfort with this because of course depending on what level of news you watch, and who you listen to it might be something that is a little bit, you know, there’s some anxiety around it,” Caulk said.

“But I knew that it wasn’t about me,” he continued. “It is about the people I want to be around. And I knew that this was an opportunity to make sure that we’re able to still respond to these calls and try and stay as healthy as we can to be there for those that we serve.”

Isanti County Administrator Julia Lines said the state has begun working toward having COVID-19 vaccines ready for ages 65 and up. The local clinics may start contacting patients for setting up an appointment for the vaccine once they have more available, Lines said, adding that Fairview is focusing on at-risk populations.

Lines said the county public health department requests COVID-19 vaccines weekly, but they haven’t received any lately. Once there are more vaccines in stock, Lines hopes public health can serve as an on-site or drive-thru vaccination hub for anyone who wants to receive one.

“So hoping that the state starts to lean more on local public health because not everybody even has a provider,” Lines said. “We need more vaccines and it’s not a perfect system right now.”

The county has received about 100 COVID-19 vaccines for some school staff of Braham Area Schools, Cambridge-Isanti Schools, Art and Science Academy and Cambridge Christian School.

“So obviously, way more than 100 employees from all of those schools need to be vaccinated,” Lines said. “That’s better than nothing. But obviously, still, we have a long way to go.”

County engineering projects

Isanti County Engineer Richard Heilman’s request for the purchase of a new snowplow truck was approved by the County Board. The 2022 Western Star 4700 Cabin Chassis Warrior Truck, which includes a box, belly blade, tanks and lights, amounted to about $244,883.

“And this is through the state of Minnesota bids. So that’s why there are no two quotes,” Heilman said.

Currently, the county has 14 snowplow trucks that are being used. The county plows 12 routes when it snows, Heilman said. Seven of the 14 snowplow trucks have accumulated approximately 300,000 miles, he said.

“So we have been trying to order one a year, but I think eventually maybe in this next year, we’re gonna start looking at a couple at a time,” Heilman said. “The problem is at a quarter-million dollars, it kind of blows your budget pretty quickly.”

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