For Imperial County Board of Supervisors Chairman Michael Kelley, this will be the year where the Imperial County will become a stronger community.
Kelley’s speech was the first virtual address that highlighted the accomplishments of each county department despite working through the pandemic in 2020.
“Throughout this pandemic, we strove to be open and transparent with every action and every protective measure taken to protect our residents and employees. We strove to maintain the services that were so desperately needed by many in our community, and these efforts would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of every county employee. To all our department heads and county employees, I am proud to be your Chairman and share with the public, tonight, the great work all of our departments and divisions accomplished in 2020,” Kelley said.
Through the collaboration between the Emergency Medical Services Agency, the Advanced Planning Unit, Epidemiology Section, and Public Health Laboratory over 2 million items of PPE were distributed across our region, more than four hundred patients were treated through the Alternate Care Site at Imperial Valley College, and partnerships were established to assist our local hospitals and home healthcare providers treat those with COVID-19, data was collected and reporting systems were established to provide up-to-date information to stakeholders, contact tracing and investigations were provided for more than 23,000 cases, and thousands of COVID tests were provided in-house, saving precious time and resources.
“The Public Health Department has played an essential role during this pandemic on all fronts. A heavyweight has fallen on their shoulders and Ms. Angulo, and the team she is leading, have done and continue to do a dynamic job of managing and balancing the responsibility while keeping our community informed and aware,” he said.
“The County of Imperial also worked hard to protect the health of our most vulnerable population, our senior citizens. I am proud to state that the Area Agency on Aging, also known as Imperial County’s triple-A, experienced no gap in services throughout the pandemic. Utilizing local small businesses, over 900 seniors were provided with meals delivered to their homes with an average of 46,000 meals served per week. In addition to home-delivered meals, a countless number of food boxes, relief bags, gift cards, and wellness checks were provided to seniors across our County.”
In addition to these services, the AAA partnered with the Public Health Department to serve as a call center and assist seniors with the COVID-19 vaccination process.
“They have handled thousands of calls, which will continue as we move forward with vaccinating our community,” Kelley added.
With the AAA providing protection and nourishment for seniors, the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office also did their part in providing personal protective services and equipment to local farm workers and the agricultural industry. In partnership with the California Departments of Food & Agriculture, Pesticide Regulation, and Emergency Services, over 1.5 million masks, 83,000 bottles of hand sanitizers, and 20,000 pairs of gloves were provided to the local farm labor workforce.
The Department of Social Services worked round the clock and completed a reorganization to establish divisions to promote the quality of service rendered to the community: transitional services, child & family services, aging & adult disability services, and administrative services.
In 2020, these divisions helped provide over 90,000 residents public assistance benefits to combat poverty, malnutrition, and food insecurity; developed a Strategic Homeless Plan to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring in the community; completed over 1,000 child abuse investigations and continued their efforts in finding an appropriate placement for children; and assisted over 6,300 In-Home Supportive Services’ beneficiaries throughout last year.
Social Services also serves as the administrative entity for the Imperial County Continuum of Care, a local committee that works to eradicate homelessness in the region. As the administrative entity of Continuum of Care, the Social Services department helped to develop a strategic homeless plan and establish and deploy programs to provide direct assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as a homeless assistance hotline and homeless housing protections and projects to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Committed to enforce the law, while protecting the life and property of Imperial County residents, the Sheriff’s Office conducted emergency vehicle operator course training to increase employee performance and safety standards, they disrupted criminal activity by identifying and dismantling criminal organizations inside and outside of the jail facility through our Jail Intelligence Team and resumed their crime prevention efforts through various awareness campaigns and programs.
They also have another furry addition to their K-9 Patrol called “Dani.” The Sheriff’s Office also continued its outreach efforts to the community via food donations, backpack deliveries and bike giveaways to children and families throughout our County.
In 2020, the County Fire Department began construction on the Niland Fire Station, completed a Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, and was awarded over $270,000 in Homeland Security grant funding. As well as, serving a critical role throughout this pandemic as the Office of Emergency Services coordinating COVID-19 response and recovery efforts with all local stakeholders.
“A year ago, we were entering into a period of fear and uncertainty; but with the arrival of the vaccine and the efforts to adapt our workspaces and personal lives by all in our community; I am truly hopeful for what 2021 will bring for every resident of the community that your government serves. This is Our County and Our Future, and hope is on the horizon,” Kelley said.