Calhoun County commissioners heard an update on the effects of COVID-19 on Memorial Medical Center during their teleconference Wednesday, April 29.

MMC CEO Jason Anglin told the court that volumes and revenue were down due to the coronavirus, which had a significant impact on the hospital’s finances.

He noted they had a $93,000 net income for the first two months of 2020, and self-pay had been going down.

But in March, volumes went down significantly, and self-pay started to increase. At the end of March, the hospital experienced a net loss of $298,000 for the year.

He also noted that a large inter-governmental transfer was coming up for the hospital’s participation in the QUIP program, which works with nursing homes. The hospital currently works with nine nursing homes.

Anglin noted MMC had received stimulus funds that would need to be allocated to the nursing homes as well, but that MMC’s share would offset the first month of losses.

He also said they were applying for the Medicare Advance Program designed to get funds to the hospital. Currently, the funds would have to be repaid, but Anglin said he spoke with U.S. Congressman Michael Cloud to see if the advance payments could be forgiven, “which would be huge for the hospital,” he said.

Also, during the meeting, the commissioners approved lifting the curfew that had been in place since April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calhoun County Judge Richard Meyer made the motion to lift the curfew, which was seconded by Commissioner David Hall.

In addition, the courthouse reopened Monday in keeping with the governor’s executive order.

“We’ll keep it to 25 percent capacity as the governor ordered,” he said, noting that the order to go to 50 percent is expected on May 15. “We’re getting back to normal and back on track.”

Also, Treasurer Rhonda Kokena informed the court that the interest they would earn on CDs would be dropping and that it would be a hit for the county.

She also pointed out that sales tax revenue had bottomed out, and the county might not receive as much as it had been.

“It’s a heavy hit for the county, and I wanted you to be kept informed and aware,” she said.

In other business, the court:

Rescinded the curfew put in place during the April as a COVID-19 measure.

Approved changing a two-way stop on 15th Street at the intersection of Maple Street to an all-way stop. Commissioner Gary Reese said traffic is often in excess of 65 mph and needs to be slowed down in that area.

Approved a temporary construction license for BGE, Inc., for access to four parcels of county land to construct new driveways as part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s sidewalk addition/improvement project.

Accepted a General Warranty Deed from Joshua Bee Waghorne and Ashley DeAnn Waghorne for .67 of an acre of land in the Basilio Maldonado Survey.

Accepted a General Warranty Deed from Buford Jay Hall Jr., Brandi E. Yackel, and Scott Yackel for .72 of an acre of land in the Basilio Maldonado Survey.

Approved the installation of two data ports and electrical outlets at the Port Lavaca office of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Authorized EMS Director Dustin Jenkins to sign the 2019 Cost Report Certification for the Calhoun County EMS.

Approved full pay for EMS personnel who had to be in quarantine or isolation due to certain risk factors for COVID-19.

Authorized Request for Proposals for Administration/Professional Services in support of Calhoun County state and federal grants.

Authorized a Request for Qualifications for Professional Engineering/Architectural/Surveying services in support of Calhoun County state and federal grants.

Approved two budget adjustments to the 2020 budget.

Approved payment of Indigent Care, MMC payroll and bills as well as the county’s payroll and bills.

During their May 6 teleconference the commissioners:

Took no action on enacting a burn ban.

Did not approve a proposal from VideoMagistrate, which the county justices of the peace said they did not want.

Agreed to rebid on a Request for Qualifications for Professional Engineering/Architectural/Survey Services as there were problems with all five bids received.

Authorized Commissioner Clyde Syma to contract with Hurt’s Wastewater Management LTD for the 2020 maintenance of the Precinct 3 septic system.

Approved three budget adjustments to the 2020 budget.

Approved payment of MMC and county bills and payroll.