Hopkins County Commissioners Court Thursday evening called an emergency meeting to reappoint Dr. Balkcom as the county’s official Local Health Authority.
Judge Robert Newsom first reported there are no new reports of positive coronavirus cases; just one as reported Tuesday.
Newsom noted that Dr. I. L. Balkcom IV has served in this capacity for a number of years and recommended that he be reappointed as Local health Authority. The court gave unanimous approval.
The appointment is to be renewed every two years, per the Office of Public Health Practice. The reappointment will allow Balkcom, who is licensed by Texas Board of Medical Examiners, to represent and serve as liaison for the county in public health matters from Mach 26, 2020 to March 26, 2022, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Department of State Health Services, a Health Authority is a physician who administers state and local laws relating to public health within a local and local laws relating to public health within a local government government’s jurisdiction.
The duties of a Health Authority, according to DSHS, include:
- Establishing, maintaining, and enforcing jurisdictional quarantine orders;
- Aiding local boards of health, local health departments in quarantine inspections, disease prevention and suppression efforts, birth and death statistics, and general sanitation issues within their jurisdiction;
- Reporting the presence of contagious, infectious and dangerous epidemic diseases to local and state authorities;
- Aiding local jurisdictions and boards of health in carrying out public health required rules, ordinances, sanitation laws, quarantine rules, and required reporting of any vital statistics collected.