CLEARFIELD -- Dealing with swine flu this past influenza season had silver linings for the region, says a Davis County Health Department official.
Among the side benefits listed Tuesday by Davis County Health Director Lewis Garrett was the addition of temporary hospital beds, the discovery of flaws in state laws and a paperless county system.
Garrett was summarizing the influenza season, dominated by H1N1, or swine flu, at a meeting of the Davis County Board of Health when he mentioned the unintended benefits that resulted from planning for the possibility of a massive flu outbreak.
"It is clear Davis County, in an emergency, does not have enough hospital beds," Garrett said at the meeting. The county health leader said that, while preparing and processing the 90,000 H1N1 immunizations given during the 2009-10 season, the department decided to buy 100 temporary hospital beds that could be set up where needed. The recent H1N1 season resulted in six deaths and more than 100 hospitalizations in Davis County.
The federal government gave the county more than $1 million for swine flu immunizations during the season, Garrett said.
He said part of the money was used by the county to computerize immunization records, a huge step toward a more paperless county office.