The Highland County Health Department is now scheduling vaccinations for those age 65 and older and with serious medical conditions.
The medical conditions available for the new round of scheduling includes those with: Sickle cell anemia; Down syndrome; cystic fibrosis; muscular dystrophy; cerebral palsy; spina bifida; people born with severe heart defects requiring regular specialized medical care; people with severe type 1 diabetes who have been hospitalized for it in the past year; phenylketonuria (PKU); tay-sachs and other rare, inherited metabolic disorders; epilepsy with continuing seizures; hydrocephaly; microcephaly and other severe neurological disorders; Turner syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome and other severe genetic disorders; people with severe asthma who have been hospitalized for it in the past year; alpha and beta-thalassemia; and solid organ transplant candidates and recipients, according to a Monday Facebook post by Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner.
Warner asked people to be honest if they are included in one of those groups. He said to ask your health provider if you are curious whether you are included.
“The Ohio Department of Health estimates that 200,000 people in Ohio are going to be eligible in this category,” Warner said. “With a state population of 11,690,000, this is about 1.7% of our population. Using this general rate for Highland County’s population, this is going to be roughly 730 people.”
The health department has two ways to register for the clinic spots. The first of those is to go to an online survey it set at https://www.highlandcountyhealth.org/get-a-covid19-vaccination. It will place you on the wait list where the department will call you back as soon as it fills spots during the week.
The other way to sign up is to call the department’s central scheduling service at 1-866-395-1588 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
In other news, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine updated school districts and reminded them of their commitments to return to in-person learning by March 1. This commitment requires these districts to vaccinate teachers and other school personnel.
“The priorities of our vaccination program have been to save lives and to get our students back in classrooms,” DeWine said in a press release. “We know quite simply there is not enough vaccine. But we have prioritized vaccinating teachers in order to get students back in school, because too many are suffering academically and emotionally. School districts should honor the voluntary commitment they made to their students, their teachers, and their communities and open their classrooms if they chose to make vaccinations available to their staffs. By prioritizing school personnel, fewer doses are available to our older or more vulnerable Ohioans.”
The Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) Public Health Advisory was last updated on Feb. 11 and holds COVID-19 statistics on Highland County. At that time, Highland County was still in a Level 3 Public Emergency, which means there is “very high exposure and spread” in the county. People should limit their activities as much as they can.
The county currently had 479.60 cases per 100,000 residents, which has continued to drop since the beginning of the new year. It had a seven-day new case average of 12.14, a seven-day emergency department average of 0.43, a seven-day outpatient average of 3.29 and a seven-day hospital admissions average of 0.29. These statistics are as of Feb. 9.
According to the Ohio COVID-19 Dashboard, which was last updated Monday, Highland County has had 3,169 cases, 165 hospitalizations and 44 deaths. The last death from COVID-19 in the county happened on Jan. 25, according to the dashboard.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.