BISBEE — Vaccination providers are going to have a busy week as they prepare to inoculate 7,400 people against COVID-19.
The inclement weather interfered with vaccine being distributed to states, so the county did not receive the expected 4,000 doses, said Alicia Thompson, Cochise Health and Social Services director, in the weekly COVID–19 pandemic status work session with the Cochise County Board of Supervisors on Friday.
The shipment coming Tuesday will include 7,400 doses, which includes last week’s consignment plus another 3,400 for this week, she said. It will go into the arms of those in Priority Phase 1B for their first shot as well as those receiving their second.
Priority Phase 1B includes: people 65 and up, law enforcement, detention and fire department personnel, education and child care workers and those in Phase 1A who did not get shots.
Thompson told supervisors Ann English, Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby that people who were scheduled to receive the vaccine were notified and appointments are being rescheduled for the coming week.
Thompson said the county positive cases are still in decline.
Martha Montano, CHSS epidemiologist, reported the county had 174 new cases, an average of 24 each day over the past week. The county has seen 260 deaths since the start of the pandemic one year ago. All totaled, the county had 10,980 positive cases over the past year.
She reported the main point of contact of COVID-19 was family members, friends and co-workers.
Montano also pointed out the reduced case numbers met two of three benchmarks the state set for returning to hybrid or in–person school. The third requires a number of 100 or less per 100,000 people and the county sits at 141.
“We recommend schools continue virtual learning,” Montano added.
Craig Janiszewski, Public Health Emergency Preparedness coordinator, said 19,900 doses have been given.
He said the county was awarded $1 million in grant funds to increase points of distribution, provide extra staffing for inoculations and prepare for a mobile effort to reach places in rural areas and underserved communities, though vaccine shipments will have to increase to meet that need.
Judd asked if she could receive an email from him on just where those areas were and told him, “We know our districts and where our underserved communities are. I want access for all of them.”
English suggested all three supervisors needed to supply Janiszewski a list with all the known areas of concern.
Thompson said her team was preparing a virtual meeting with city representatives and community members so “we all will be on the same page when we roll this out. We want their input. We know we don’t have all the answers.”
The supervisors’ work sessions are held every Friday at 10 a.m. and the public can listen to the conversation via at: https://destinyhosted.com/agenda_publish.cfm?mt=ALL&get_month=2&get_year=2021&countDownload=&downloadFile=&id=26244&loc=&term=N.