November 23, 2020 – In anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccine arriving, Dickinson County Public Health is preparing to provide the vaccination to Dickinson County residents. Lakes Regional Healthcare Director of Population and Public Health Katy Burke said, “We want to be ready to go when the vaccination does become available, and are taking important steps now.”
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is specifying vaccinating individuals in stages. “At this point various service workers such as healthcare providers will be the first to receive the vaccine. We’re waiting to learn how they define service workers to understand what specific people will be first in line,” said Burke. “Nursing home residents will be the next ones to receive the vaccine, followed by additional high priority groups. This is based on the information we’ve received so far, and the information has changed a few times. We hope to learn the final decisions soon.”
Dickinson County Public Health is considering a COVID vaccine clinic to be either a walk-in clinic or a drive-through clinic. According to Burke, regardless of whether it is a walk-in or a drive-through clinic, they want it to be a larger location that can accommodate several people at once. She said, “We think the Dickinson County Community Building would be a good location for a walk-in clinic because it’s large, heated, and has plenty of parking available. The staff there were great to work with when we had our Test Iowa Clinic there, too.”
A drive-through clinic is appealing because of the efficiency. Lakes Regional Healthcare President and CEO Jason Harrington said, “The Test Iowa Clinic worked really well as a drive-through site, at least until the weather became colder. It became nearly impossible for our staff to be outside and warm enough to test patients.”
Lakes Regional Healthcare is trying to locate a site that could be used as a drive-through COVID vaccine clinic. Burke said the ideal location would have a lot of space, provide for cars to drive into the building through one door and exit through another door, and be heated, insulated, or at least have warming stations. She said, “If anyone knows of such a property, we’d love to hear about it. The hospital would pay a monthly rent to use it.” Anyone who may be willing to lease such a location is encouraged to contact Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org or 712-336-8795.
Once a location is identified, Burke mentioned it wouldn’t take long to get the space ready for people to receive vaccinations. She said, “We don’t have a specified date for the vaccine to arrive yet, but we currently anticipate it will arrive by the end of December for the first phase.”
Those with questions are encouraged to call Dickinson County Public Health at 712-339-6050, visit www.lakeshealth.org and follow Lakes Regional Healthcare on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.