The Highland County Health Department has partnered with the YMCA to use its gymnasium to conduct most of its future vaccination clinics, health commissioner Jared Warner said Monday night in a Facebook on the health department’s Facebook page.
This partnership will begin with this week’s vaccinations on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Warner wrote.
The partnership comes when Highland County has more than 2,000 vaccines to administer this week, according to Warner. Some vaccinations will be school staff, who will receive them on Friday. Warner said that if school staff members don’t want to get vaccinated now, but then change their mind, they would be “competing against the 4,000 or so other Highland County folks who are looking to get vaccinated also.”
He said that the county has vaccinated about 29 percent of its population in the 65 and older group.
“… I want to remind everyone that all of our vaccine providers are doing the best that they can to connect people to vaccines. My best guess is that we have about 4,000 eligible individuals in the county that are still interested in being vaccinated, and supply continues to be limited,” Warner wrote. “If you have called and left a message or completed an online survey to get on a wait list, then you will not get a call from us unless we have an opening.
“For our 65 and older group, we have vaccinated approximately 29% of the county’s population. We are making progress, and we all wish we had more vaccine to get out. Please be patient with all of our providers, we would love to vaccinate everyone who is interested, but we haven’t gotten there yet. It is going to continue to be slow for a while longer, but recent vaccine amount increases are a good sign that soon we will be able to rapidly increase vaccine availability in the community.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a news release that because of those in the 65 and older group amounting to about 87 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio, the state is not opening eligibility for vaccines further.
“Once the demand for the vaccine has been met for those 65 and older, those ages 60 and older will become eligible,” DeWine said. “After a period of vaccination for this age group, those ages 55 and older will become eligible, followed by those ages 50 and up.”
He also said that for specific groups that might have an increased risk to contract the virus, they could be included in the 60 and older phase of vaccination.
In other updates, the current case count for Highland County has dropped to 296.56 cases per 100,000. Warner said that there’s a possibility some Ohio counties could fall off their Level 3 Public Emergency levels.
Other areas are seeing decreasing trends as well, such as hospitalizations, ED visits and outpatient clinic visits. He said that long-term care facilities have seen a “significant decrease” in the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths regionally.
DeWine’s latest update said there have been 955,378 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio as well as 16,874 confirmed and probably deaths due to the virus. He also said that 49,492 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 7,044 admissions to intensive care units.
DeWine has also announced that in remembrance of the more than 500,000 people in the U.S. that have died because of COVID-19, he has ordered that United States and Ohio flags be placed at half-staff on all public buildings and grounds in the state until sunset on Feb. 26, 2021.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.