Vaccine doses expected soon in Jones Co.

Board of Supervisors
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     “Things have come down a lot. It’s all good news,” reported Jones County Public Health Coordinator Jenna Lovaas during the Dec. 15 county supervisor meeting, concerning the county’s COVID-19 numbers.

     Since the pandemic began, Jones County has seen 2,508 positive cases.

     As of Dec. 18, there were only six residents hospitalized, and a 14-day positivity rate of 14.1 percent. (The State of Iowa’s positivity rate is 13.5 percent.)

     Cases increase counts include:

     • Nine cases reported in the last three days

     • 38 cases reported in the last seven days

     • 92 cases reported in the last 14 days

     “These are definitely better numbers,” Lovaas said.

     Lovaas reported 47 total deaths in Jones County. That includes six inmates from the Anamosa State Penitentiary, and 27 from local long-term care facilities.

     Lovaas said there are two deaths included in the Jones County total, via state reporting, that actually reside in another county. The Iowa Department of Public Health has been informed of the mis-reporting.

     In addition, Lovaas explained that there continue to be some discrepancies with the IDPH reporting on COVID-19 deaths online. She said the state seems to getting its information from death certificates, and early COVID deaths may not have been reported correctly.

     JCPH and Kaci Ginn, preparedness specialist, have also been working on distribution of the COVID vaccine. Lovaas shared that Jones County would see doses of the Moderna vaccine.

     “Doses are expected to ship Monday (Dec. 21),” noted Lovaas. “We’re working on a list of (local) healthcare providers for the first round (Phase 1A).

     “We will begin scheduling vaccination clinics with our partners next week. The first clinics are anticipated to be held the week of Dec. 28. JRMC (Jones Regional Medical Center) may begin vaccinating their staff earlier.”

     She informed the board of supervisors that the intent is to use all available doses of the vaccine as quickly as possible.

     “The goal is to vaccine as many people as quickly as possible and not to hang on to the vaccine,” Lovaas said.

     With the Moderna vaccine, you are required to wait 28 days between doses. (Each vaccine requires two doses per individual.)

     “We’ve been allocated 700 doses,” added Lovaas. “It is unknown how the announcement of the reduction in dose volume will impact the total number of doses Jones County receives,” she continued, concerning recent news.

     JCPH will not be directly receiving shipments of the vaccine doses.

     “We have coordinated with partners in the community with storage capacity who will be receiving Jones County’s allocation,” Lovaas said.

     Long-term care facilities are working under the National Pharmacy Partnership Program to secure the Pfizer vaccine for residents and staff. Those will start the week of Dec. 28.

     Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Leonard said EMA cannot use its PPE supply for healthcare officials administering the vaccine.

     “There is protocol set up for that,” she said.

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