GREENFIELD — Adair County Public Health Director Jane Ernst told the newspaper this week that her agency was halfway through the county’s COVID-19 vaccine allocation as of Monday. That is not including the long term care facilities in the county, which have all elected to utilize pharmacies for administering their vaccines.
“We are following the mandate and administering only to healthcare workers. Roughly 90% of Adair County healthcare workers that desire to be vaccinated have had their first dose,” Ernst said. “As we are only looking at healthcare workers at the present time, anyone that falls into that category should contact our office to arrange to be vaccinated.”
While there’s reason to be confident in the distance that has been traveled thus far in the vaccination effort here, it’s not time to relax, Ernst cautioned.
“It could always be better, and we are hopeful that as people see that the vaccine side effects appear to be minimal, that rates will increase,” she said.
Meanwhile, deaths relating to COVID-19 in Adair County continue to slowly rise. According to the state coronavirus dashboard, there were 664 positive cases with 512 recovered to date in the county and 20 deaths. Adair County’s two-week positivity rate Tuesday morning was 20.6%, according to the website, which is eighth highest in the state.
While she admitted that it is concerning anytime rates increase, Ernst said that higher rates right now are likely due to holiday events, and they were somewhat “predictable.”
“Optimistically, I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. However, we still have a long way to go. I believe that the main factors in determining the duration of this are the continued efforts to be vigilant with mitigation such as masking and social distancing, as well as significant percentage of the population being vaccination,” she said.