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small town health department near Cincinnati struggles

The Franklin County Health Department team offers COVID-19 vaccines to patrons at the Long Branch Tavern in Laurel, Indiana, on Monday, June 7, 2021.

Tom Wilson said he had one goal when he and his fellow county commissioners met Tuesday in Brookville, Indiana, to talk about making changes at the Franklin County Health Department.

He wanted the commissioners to end what he saw as “chaos and turmoil” in a department that’s leading the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They appear to have done the opposite.

One shot of tequila, one shot of vaccine: COVID-19 battle in Franklin County

Since Wilson uttered those words, two health board members have resigned, another said she intends to resign, the county’s interim health officer quit and state health officials pondered a temporary takeover of the department, which, at the moment, is not allowed to issue birth certificates, approve septic tank permits or give COVID-19 vaccinations.


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