Bourbon County Commissioner Jeff Fischer On Recent Proposal

Letter To The Editor

Submitted by Jeff Fischer, Bourbon County Commissioner


There has been some concern over this proposal and how it may compromise our community members’ rights.

Let me first say, first and foremost, that is absolutely not the intent.

We are living in unprecedented times. New ideas and technology should be brought to the table and discussed unless we are satisfied with the status quo. We share an obligation to protect our citizens to the best of our ability.

I pray that this pandemic is on the way out. However, should this virus have a second wave, having the tools to isolate the infected and liberating the healthy will be a big step in avoiding the anticipated consequences.

I know many, if not all, of our large employers, are taking temperatures and monitoring symptoms of their employees prior to every shift. Some of our larger businesses are actively looking for a tool to use to help monitor the symptoms as a strategy to keep their employees safe and their operations ongoing.

Nationwide, everyone is looking for increased access to testing. This proposal was presented as an option to help meet community needs, looking for ways to keep our workforce and elderly safe, and prepare for future risk.

I also know that every county health department is tracking and tracing confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Although the proposal used a word like “surveillance,” this does not mean a mass population tracking system. The objective of this proposal has never been the surveillance and tracking of individuals, but the disease. We have learned that early detection, confirmation and appropriate actions are key factors in limiting the spread of the virus that causes this disease.

We need to move past keeping healthy people at home and move toward quarantining those who show a confirmed positive of COVID-19. This specific proposal targeted increasing our regional testing capacity and building a data infrastructure for the rapid sharing of the results.

MRIGlobal, formerly known as Midwest Research Institute based in Kansas City has presented a proposal dated April 20th to Bourbon County. This proposal had three main components, two of these components pertained to diagnostic testing for COVID-19 and the third component pertained to a symptom monitoring application. Although this proposal is specific to Bourbon County, it is being used as a template to be in other remote areas to support expanding diagnostic testing capacity with rapid reporting of the results.

  1. There are two types of tests that can be purchased at a fixed price. These include the molecular (RT-PCR) and serology (RDT and ELISA) test. Test specimens delivered to their lab at 425 Volker Blvd in Kansas City by noon would have results by 5:00 pm the same day, 5 days a week. Bourbon County’s healthcare community would have access for 100 tests each day with same-day results.
  2. Should there become a need for additional capacity or a quicker turnaround time, MRIGlobal would train up to four technicians based in Ft. Scott on the Cepheid Xpert Xpress platform that processes a prepared specimen in 45 minutes. Having regional rapid diagnostic testing capacity through our healthcare partners provides safety to healthcare professionals and helps mitigate the risk of clusters like those reported in factories, nursing homes and correctional facilities.
  3. MRIGlobal’s partner, HToH, will provide an app based mobile phone software solution that can efficiently and remotely identify and manage populations impacted by COVID-19. The system offers the ability to trace contacts and support communications between clinicians and patients, providing an indicator of the spread and control of COVID-19. The system also recommends public health actions to individuals in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and physician guidance, including return to work/duty decision tools based on symptomatic diagnosis, and RT-PCR and/or serology based diagnostic testing.

Each of the three components is menu priced.

For example, we could select the service described in item one and only pay for the number of tests that are performed. This would give our community 500 diagnostic tests each week with same day results. CHC SEK would likely collect the specimens and deliver them by noon in Kansas City. CHC SEK would bill for these tests as they currently do now. We may learn that we have no need for items two and three, but they are priced to give our community scalable capacity.

23 thoughts on “Bourbon County Commissioner Jeff Fischer On Recent Proposal”

  1. Was told by Nick Ruhl that the MRI Global issue was voted on last week and was a NO. Is this letter an after thought or is it not a done deal?

  2. Commissioner Fisher is determined to bring this proposal back. The only reason the Bourbon County Commissioners did not pass it last Tuesday was because many people spoke out against it. I have spoken to attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom, and if Commissioner Fisher and Bourbon County continue down this road, a lawsuit will be filed. This is a very bad idea. I sincerely hope and pray that the citizens of Bourbon County remember this at election time.

    1. Get a petition going against this. I will sign it, and pass it around. It is time we citizens stand up against rogue county commissioners who say they know what is best for us peasants while doing what is best for themselves.

  3. No interest in spending the time or money to have our liberties taken away and tracked. The risk in rural areas does not warrant the the money spent or extreme measures.

    1. Apparently Jeff Fischer doesn’t understand the concept of incrementalism. Perhaps he’s never heard the story of the Camel’s nose in the tent or understood it. We are tracked to much as it is. Time to stand up to more of this!

  4. It would be great if we could have some community input before the fact , not after. The commissioners are elected as representatives, not dictators.

  5. Commissioners-Please forget all this crazy stuff. We dont want it!
    We need our roads fixed. Some of them have such bad pot holes and shoulders that they are dangerous.
    We have have low water bridges that flood so badly you cant’t drive on them.
    Some roads need gravel-when is rains the roads are just mud.
    Please get back to taking care these things.
    You didn’t listen about the turbines so please listen to the citizens about this.

  6. So you don’t want to quarantine the healthy people. Duh, why would you.
    But, and this is a HUGE but, what do you plan to do to those with a positive test? If I test positive I will do the right thing and self-quarantine, but if you think for a minute that you’re going to have ANY legal authority over me you’re going to be for a very unfriendly situation.
    This lockdown has hurt the lil guy, hasn’t hurt anyone working for the county. Y’all still getting paid to do nothing? Well that’s pretty much your job description anyway.
    We live in a rural county for a reason, the freedom and peace it offers. We all know Hwy 69 goes north to the big regulated city if that’s what we want. It’s NOT what we want, now leave us all the hell alone…..

    1. Jeff,
      You see the value of having a plan in place and ready to go if covid19 arrives with a vengeance this fall. Quickly moving to identify and isolate positives in a community without a hospital makes sence. Trying to keep businesses open, people working and income flowing into the community makes sense. Having a plan in place to minimize death and economic loss (medical bills and funeral expenses to families) seems to be a very responsible position. Everyone will turn to you for answers if Covid19 arrives and this proves you stood ALONE when time for preparation and planing was available.

      Unfortunately, many here will wait until panic has overcome the community and ONLY THEN DEMAND that action be taken, regardless of costs. Your leadership is undervalued by short sighted individuals. In this form, today, you are out numbered. Luckily, you have time to continue to communicate a reasonable and cost effecient preoperative solution to a deadly situation. These people don’t realize they are calling for sacrificing their loved ones, their jobs and a good portion of their lives. Clearly, the other Commissioners have failed to grasp the extream cost of doing nothing.

      If the Devil trys to enter this fall, thank you for trying to renforce the door. Good luck!

      1. You mentioned the devil? Whe have you not mentioned God the all powerful …. God is more powerful than the devil! No one will die unless God approves it first!!!! Why have people put the government in a higher position than God ? Why did fischer not vote on the first vote and then come out with another statement and sales pitch to convince us we need Surveillance ?

      2. There already IS a plan in place !!
        What the heck do you think the federal and state government has been doing all this time?
        Just yesterday the State of Kansas released a 3 phase plan to re-open our state.
        Are you unaware of all this?

        Testing is available statewide, in fact nationwide right now.

        Testing is also available thru private entities if you wish to go that route.

        It’s not like there is NO way to get tested, and Jeff Fischer is the only person who is doing something about it.

        Bottom line is in this area we are not getting hit hard with this. No counties around us have been hit hard, and some don’t even have even one case in their entire county.

        NOW, we are finding out huge numbers of people are testing that they have already had this, and didn’t even know it, dramatically reducing the case fatality rate.

        Further, have you been anywhere in public these past 60 days? Places you can go to are packed, and most people NOT wearing any protective gear. I see so many people who are obviously extremely obese, or have many other health problems who would be dead by now if this was as deadly and contagious as some people think. !
        Just go to Wal-Mart or the East side grocery store and confirm what I am saying!
        We’ve had a few cases in Bourbon County, and sadly, even one elderly person with health problems died from it.
        Common sense thinking is that IF this is as deadly and contagious as some fearmongers would have you believe, Bourbon County would have thousands of cases right now, and hundreds already dead.
        You mentioned the devil trying to enter this fall, well I think the devil is trying to enter right now, and thru a medical procedure that would include tracking and surveillance of our citizens. This I assure you, is NOT popular among the people, and I’m not wrong that it is the major problem with this plan Jeff Fischer is trying to sell to the public.

        We don’t need this, and we don’t want this.

        1. One more thing, if YOU or anyone doesn’t feel safe or well enough to go out into the world, stay home. By all means implement your own restrictions, isolation or quarantine measures for yourself or your business anytime you feel like it. There is no law against that.
          Do whatever YOU feel you should do to stay safe.
          For those of us who do not feel all these drastic, draconian measures are necessary, do whatever is within the law that you are allowed to do, and push for changes in the law if so desired.
          That’s my disclaimer. I am not a doctor, but then again neither are any of the Bourbon County Commissioners.

  7. These guys voted for a pay raise to pay time and half while people can’t work because they were forced to shut down. Where is all this money going to come from when all the counties Bill’s come due. Bourbon county is already almost under water because they can’t keep businesses because of their tax rate. Now they want to spend money on surveillance of there neighbors. What is wrong with these guys. WAKE UP

  8. We don’t need this! County Commissioners stop listening to all these sales pitches by these companies who are coming here to sell their products! This is yet one more product a company out of KC area is selling. THIS WILL NOT BE FREE AND WILL COST US TAXPAYERS IN BOURBON COUNTY A LOT OF MONEY.

  9. Didn’t county commissioners take an oath of office to Uphold the Constitution? Asking for a friend!

  10. They didn’t listen to the constituents about the turbines. What makes you think they will listen to you about this? They only do what is best for the person paying them the most money. Time to vote out Jeff Fischer and Nick Ruhl and recall Lynn Oharah.

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