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Flu shots recommended by Covid experts

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The expectation that more City of Homer buildings and facilities will be opening up to something resembling normal was high during the Covid Brief with Kathleen Gustafson yesterday on KBBI.
    Certainly one of the most popular is the public library, which city spokesperson Jenny Carrol said should soon see more extensive availability, as will the Cowles City Council Chambers.
    “There is a planning group that's working on opening up council chambers in the future to have more in-person meetings so that we make sure the public has access to elected officials to have their voices heard in government,” Carrol said. “Right now all those meetings are happening online. People can still come in and give public testimony in council chambers, so it's not that those are closed right now. They're actually open, it's just a different way that we're doing that business in order to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.”
    The city will also continue the use of Zoom video conferencing.
    “I have heard from constituents that they also do like the Zoom to be able to come be home, listen in and participate via Zoom,” Carrol said. “I know some people have technology issues, even if they're able to call in just like on this call, we sometimes run into glitches, being able to do things remotely. So we want to be able to give everybody access. So those are the two options we will be continuing, moving forward.”
    Carrol also spoke about the new Household Emergency Relief Grant, or “HERG” program and its limitations.
    “One of the things I wanted to let people know is that these funds cannot go for your city utility bills or property taxes at this point. So if you're applying to have relief from that, we're unable to provide funds for those purposes, unless you are on the verge of being evicted, or having your utilities or something shut off. Then the city can allow you to use those funds for that purpose,” Carrol said. “But at this point, the city's not cutting anyone off of utilities so if you have circumstances that you would want us to take a second look at your request for using HERG funds for property taxes or city utilities, write in a note or, get ahold of Sarah. And we can work with you through that.”
    The cold and flu season is fast approaching, and flu shots are especially recommended this year so as to keep the burden on hospitals low incase of an upturn in Covid 19 cases. Host Kathleen Gustafson relayed an emailed question about the need for flu shots to Alaska Public Health Nurse Lorne Carrol.
    “I would say that it's more important than ever to protect ourselves from influenza, which is a respiratory illness. And the vaccine for the flu is critical to help reduce the overall impacts of respiratory illnesses on our community. Of course there's folks out there who, maybe the flu shot is not right for them, and that's okay too. those folks that do choose to take one, it's really protecting them, their family and their community.”
    South Peninsula Hospital’s Derotha Ferraro said this year’s flu shot should be available far and wide.
    “In addition to offering flu shots through normal appointments at their clinics, places will also be doing more event type driven things. And, I know SVT will be doing a flu-shot clinics through the Rotary Health Fair as well,” Ferraro said. “As soon as everybody gets them available, then we'll get those dates and times out to folks. But without question, I don't want anybody to think they're going to miss it.”
    KBBI’s Covid Brief is aired live each Thursday morning 9 a.m.

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