Floyd Co. Commissioners vote down re-certification of county health officer

Floyd Co. Commissioners vote down re-certification of county health officer
Dr. Tom Harris (Source: News and Tribune / Brooke McAfee)

FLOYD COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - As cases of the coronavirus continue to climb in Indiana, the Floyd County Commissioners have decided not to keep the county’s health officer on for another term.

The commissioners opted not to reappoint Dr. Tom Harris as the Floyd County Health Officer, with his four-year term expiring on Dec. 31 of this year.

In a statement, the commissioners said:

“We believe the time is now to begin a new chapter for the Health Department. We have every confidence that the department staff, working closely with Baptist Floyd and the Indiana Department of Health, will continue to effectively serve our county as we manage the difficult weeks ahead and eagerly anticipate the vaccines that are hopefully not far off.”

The Floyd County Democratic Party is questioning why the decision was made, even as Harris was recommended by the Floyd County Health Board, responding with a statement that said in part:

“By not certifying Dr. Tom Harris, they have effectively created a leadership void in the Health Department and left open critical questions about their support for responsible measures to control the spread of COVID-19.”

The Floyd County Commissioners declined any further comment but said they’ll begin the search for a new health officer in their December meeting.

Harris was appointed the Floyd County health officer in 2006.

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