MOUNT MORRIS – Livingston County began distributing COVID-19 vaccines to staff and residents of the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation this week.
The first of three CNR clinics was Jan. 6, the same day the Livingston County Department of Health began offering clinics for workers considered Phase 1A in the New York State Vaccination Program.
At the CNR, Director of Long-Term Care Stephen Woodruff said more than 90 percent of the facility’s resident population chose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“While vaccination is, of course, noncompulsory, we nevertheless have worked with our partner, Health Direct, to assure the availability of vaccine for 100 percent of both staff and resident populations.”
Future clinics for CNR residents and staff are scheduled on Jan. 27 and Feb. 17.
The Department of Health was expecting to vaccinate 200 people in its first clinics, which began Jan. 7 and were scheduled through today. Additional clinics are planned in the future as more vaccines become available.
“The initial rollout at our clinic went very smoothly, and appointment slots for future clinics are filling up quickly,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, Livingston County’s public health director.
The clinics feature the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
While availability of the vaccine is limited in the initial weeks of the vaccination program, more and more Livingston County residents will become eligible as the vaccine supply increases, the county said in a news release.
“As we advance through the phased rollout, we strongly encourage Livingston County residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as they become eligible,” Rodriguez said. “In addition to wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining distance, getting vaccinated will help our community stay healthy and safe.”
The prioritized populations in Phase 1A include:
■ All outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff such as intake staff that is in a position in which they have direct contact with patients.
■ Eligibility includes, but is not limited to, individuals who work in private medical practices, hospital-affiliated medical practices, public health clinics, specialty medical practices of all types, dental practices of all types, dialysis workers, diagnostic and treatment centers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, phlebotomists, behavioral health workers and student health workers.
■ All frontline, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, those handling COVID-19 lab specimens and COVID-19 vaccinations.
■ Home care workers and aides, hospice workers, personal care aides and consumer-directed personal care workers.
■ Staff and residents of nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and adult care facilities.
The Department of Health clinics are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays in the county auditorium at 1 Murray Hill Drive in Mount Morris. The clinics are for all those listed in Phase 1A. There will no out-of-pocket expenses to be vaccinated. Those wishing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine must have an appointment, bring a photo ID and proof of employment. No walk-ins will be accepted.
While the vaccination process is underway, everyone should wear a mask, social distance and avoid small and large gatherings.
Phase 1A began in mid-December in New York State and is expected to continue for five weeks.
Two other locations in Livingston County have been scheduling COVID-19 Moderna vaccine inoculations for frontline health care workers. They include Tri-County Family Medicine and UR Medicine | Noyes Health’s Nicholas H. Noyes Hospital, both in Dansville.
To schedule at appointment at Tri-County Family Medicine, called the facility’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at (585) 432-2304 or (585) 432-2313.
“Along with our regional partners, we have been working on plans to distribute a vaccine since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis,” Rodriguez said. “Our goal is to quickly and safely distribute the vaccine to prioritized groups as it becomes available.”
It may be several months before the vaccine is available for the general public, the county noted.
The New York State “Am I Eligible” tool will help individuals determine when they are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If they are eligible, the tool, which is available at https://tinyurl.com/y4eetl3f, will connect them to locations and the individual will be able to schedule an appointment.
Future phases include:
■ Phase 2: First responders, teachers, school staff, childcare providers, public health workers, essential frontline workers who regularly interact with the public or maintain critical infrastructure, other long-term care facility patients and individuals living in other congregate settings, and individuals in general population deemed particularly high risk due to co-morbidities and health conditions.
■ Phase 3: Individuals older than 65 years old, and individuals younger than 65 with high-risk health conditions.
■ Phase 4: All other essential workers.
■ Phase 5: Remainder of the population.
For more information on the COVID-19 in Livingston County, call the county’s hotline at 1 (877) 280-6775 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.