By Lee Bratcher/OC Monitor
HARTFORD, Ky. — Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnston held another COVID-19 update for OHio County this afternoon. During the update, more information was presented about future vaccinations, including information on how to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated if you’re 70 years old and up.
Johnston began his update by going over today’s COVID-19 report from the Green River District Health Department leading off with the number of current active cases in Ohio County, 441.
“The virus is not getting any better here like it is (elsewhere),” Johnston said. “We’ve had a huge amount of cases this week which we’re calling the Christmas surge. The New Year’s surge hasn’t actually hit us yet.”
Johnston did have good news to report when it came to the vaccine in Ohio County and introduced Athena Minor, the chief nursing and clinical officer of OCH to speak about upcoming vaccinations.
According to Minor, OCH is currently vaccinating first responders and healthcare professionals which is 1a in the phased vaccination schedule. However, the hospital plans to move to the 1b phase around Feb.1 or perhaps sooner. This phase will be the vaccination of people 70 years old and up.
According to Minor, at 4 p.m. this afternoon (Jan. 8), people 70 years old and up can call OCH to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated. Call 270-215-9082 from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday to schedule your appointment.
When setting up an appointment for vaccination, you won’t be selecting a date, but you will choose a day of the week and a time to be vaccinated. When OCH gets the approval to begin vaccinating those 70 and older, you’ll be called with a date for your appointment.
For questions about the process, you can also call 270-215-9082. For any announcements about vaccinations, check the OCH website, ochcares.com.
Minor pointed out the state has not yet given permission to move to the 1b phase to vaccinate those 70 and older. but when OCH receives a date to do so, it will be announced.
Next Jim Duke, with Ohio County EMS and the president of Com-care Inc., thanked Minor and OCH for their job in getting first responders and healthcare professionals vaccinated.
“(OCH) has aggressively worked toward getting as many people in Ohio County vaccinated,” Duke said.
Duke said most of the first responders and healthcare professionals in the county have been vaccinated, but the county has to wait for the state’s approval to move forward with other vaccinations and to receive the next shipment of the vaccine.
“As soon as that vaccine is allocated, and is available to the county to start vaccinations, we’re going to start on it immediately and we’re going to make it a priority that you’ve got that opportunity to get a vaccine as soon as possible,” Duke said. “Hopefully everyone understands how important (vaccination) is and how safe it is.”
Duke said there have been around 500 people vaccinated in Ohio County thus far and none had any bad reactions to the vaccine.
Johnston concluded the update by praising OCH and Com-Care for their work and “truly believed” the vaccine “is the light at the end of the tunnel for this pandemic that we’re suffering through at this time.”
To view today’s update from the Ohio County Fiscal Court Facebook page, click here.