COVID vaccines ramp up in Jones County

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Beginning this week, Jones County Public Health (JCPH) announced that those 65 and older who receive primary healthcare in Jones County will soon hear from their primary care provider regarding scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine.

     JCPH released the information via press release on Feb. 7.

     Those county residents who do not have a primary care provider in Jones County (or receive care in another county) will have the chance to be vaccinated through JCPH at a community-based clinic.

     “Vaccine supply continues to be extremely limited,” noted JCPH. “Please DO NOT call clinics in Jones County and attempt to request an appointment. Eligible individuals who have submitted the vaccine interest form through JCPH will be contacted when there is an appointment available, with instructions on where they will receive the vaccine.”

     The form can be found online at Those who require assistance with the form or do not have internet can call 319-462-6945.

     JCPH will be holding community-based COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Monticello and Anamosa on Saturdays by appointment only.

     Individuals in Phase 1B, Tier 1 have started to receive the first dose of the vaccine. Those include first responders (firefighters and police), child welfare social workers, PreK-12 school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers.

     JCPH Coordinator Jenna Lovaas updated the Jones County Supervisors during their Feb. 2 board meeting on the county’s coronavirus situation. The positivity rate is 10.4 percent (9.6 for the State of Iowa). Jones County currently has four residents hospitalized.

     Case increases include:

     • 18 in the last three days

     • 32 in the last seven days

     • 69 in the last 14 days

     Lovaas shared that three cases of the U.K. COVID-19 strain had been confirmed in Iowa. She said symptoms for this strain are generally the same as COVID-19, but it is much more contagious.

     “It could potentially infect lots of people,” she said. “That’s why it’s important to continue all of the precautions (wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing).”

     A recent vaccine clinic in Monticello saw 195 people in three hours.

     “It went relatively well,” commented Lovaas.

     EMA Coordinator Brenda Leonard agreed.

     “It went smooth, but we need a bigger spot for that amount of people,” she said of using the Monticello Community Building.

     Those who took part in the recent clinic were those receiving their first dose of the vaccine as well as those completing the series (receiving their second dose). So far in Jones County, 1,743 people have received the first dose; 445 have completed the series.

     Lovaas also stressed that when JCPH contacts individuals to make an appointment, if a particular date does not work, JCPH will continue to contact you until an appointment is made.

     “We have not wasted any doses,” said Leonard. “We make sure everyone uses all of the doses. We have people to call ready and waiting (to get the vaccine).”

     Supervisor John Schlarmann asked how long it could take Jones County to just get through the 65-plus population for vaccines.

     “Unless allocations (of the vaccine) pick up, it will take a while,” said Lovaas.

     There are roughly 4,000 people living in Jones County that fall under that age group. However, only a little over 2,000 have filled out the online form.

     “It could potentially take a month at this rate,” added Lovaas.


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