St. Louis County residents continue to get sick from COVID-19. The county has a current average of 560 new cases per day, which is up slightly from the average a month ago. A total of 1,476 lives have been lost and it is critical to continue to take proper personal protective measures to prevent a larger impact.
Vaccine distribution offers hope. St. Louis County received 975 doses last week, and 180 County health-care employees who met the state’s definition of Tier 1A were the first to be vaccinated. Those 180 public health workers represent 65 percent of the 275 Health Department employees who are eligible based on the state’s requirements.
This week, vaccinations will continue to be administered to Health Department employees as well as non-DPH employees who qualify as healthcare works in the 1A tier as defined by the state. These are healthcare workers not affiliated with one of our hospital systems, which are taking the lead in vaccinating those who have a hospital affiliation.
At this time, DH is scheduling 100 1A people a day, beginning today through Thursday. On Friday, we anticipate scheduling 320 1A individuals.
In addition to nurses and doctors not connected to a hospital provider, other examples of workers that would be eligible to sign up for the vaccine include school nurses, dentists, behavioral health and substance use providers, optometrists and physical therapists. People in those categories may request information on getting on the county’s list may email [email protected].
The process of mass vaccinations is new, and at this time it is not known when DPH will receive additional vaccines or the number of doses. It’s also unclear when the state will allow vaccinations of people in the 1B tier, which includes individuals aged 65 and older and those who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. Patience is essential. This process is dependent on the supply chain, which is managed by the state.
Until the vaccine is widely available, the risk is too high to let up on responsible actions. Continue to stay home, social distance, and wash your hands. Push back against misinformation. Updated vaccine information can be found online here.