While almost all the talk about health in 2020 has had to do with COVID-19, there are other health issues for the county to address as well.

For one thing, the oral health of grade-schoolers is no less important than it’s always been, and that’s why the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is accepting a financial award from the Duke Endowment meant to help in that regard.

The board will accept the grant at its Thursday, July 16 meeting.

Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann, who took over as health director earlier this year and has been focused on the pandemic for months, will be able to escape from the all-encompassing threat for a few minutes at least at the meeting as she brings this much more pleasant matter to the board for a change.

The $190,000 award from the Duke Endowment, which is going to the Public Health Division of the Guilford County Health and Human Services Department, will be used to help fund that department’s school-based oral health program – which will treat 1st and 2nd graders in Title I schools in Greensboro and High Point.

Title 1 schools are those that generally qualify for extra federal funds due to the percentage of children attending who come from financially challenged families. Some of those kids have limited – or even zero – access to dental care normally. However, this program will give the youngsters the ability to receive preventive dental treatment while at school.

Guilford County health officials plan to use the Duke Endowment funds to purchase dental materials, supplies and equipment, as well as to pay for some part-time positions needed to run the program.

At the coming Thursday evening meeting, the board will formally accept $125,000 of the award. Another $65,000 has already been included in the county’s fiscal 2020-2021 budget that was adopted last month.