PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) – An appointed member of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Board sees its role as approving science-based regulations.
“We’re here as a health department and listening to the experts,” said Wood County Commission Chairman Blair Couch. “Typically, regulations are passed from the CDC to the state health department and then to us for tracking.”
But a local state senator who supports changes in the way these councils operate says there has been criticism from residents who say there is not enough public input on the boards. regulations approved by boards of health.
“There has been criticism of unelected officials making the rules,” said Republican Senator Donna Boley of Pleasants County. “It just allows the county commission to approve the health department rules.”
Senate Bill 12 allows locally elected officials to sign bylaws approved by local boards of health. Couch says that these days, boards of health are more concerned about COVID-19 and, like the Department of Health, administer vaccines than policies make. He says that while most counties in West Virginia have local councils, the Mid-Ohio Valley Department of Health is a regional health organization.
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