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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
The latest COVID-19 data released by the Scott County Health Department, released Monday, shows only four active cases of the virus in the county. Another two individuals are currently quarantined, because they came into close contact with someone with COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has approved a “booster” dose of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to immunocompromised populations in order to bolster the effects of the vaccines. SCHD, RN Meghan VanDeVelde reports, has only Moderna available for residents.
“We have Moderna available to the select group eligible for the booster shot,” VanDeVelde said. “We are doing the booster if a physician requests it.”
VanDeVelde said that many chain pharmacies are able to deliver booster shots, as well.
“CVS and Walgreens have Pfizer, too,” VanDeVelde said.
SCHD is also working to respond to state and federal vaccination and/or testing mandates for government employees and large employers.
“From the things we have seen and heard, the President rolled out the administration’s ‘Path Out of the Pandemic’ program, which has a goal to increase the vaccination rate by requiring shots across public and private sectors,” VanDeVelde said. “Part of this push from the federal government includes those employers with 100 or more employees will be required to have their employees either be fully vaccinated or get tested weekly to come to work. Federal workers and employees of contractors that do business with the federal government will be required to be vaccinated, and workers in health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, including hospitals and home health agencies, will also have to be fully vaccinated.”
VanDeVelde said SCHD is closely working with Scott County schools to accommodate testing/vaccination requirements for public school teachers and other district employees.
“We are able to coordinate through the state to get them test kits,” VanDeVelde said.
VanDeVelde also said that the federal government is also encouraging citizens to get vaccinated if they intend to use mass transit or attend public events.
“And the president called on entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter their facilities,” VanDeVelde said. “The administration is also upping fines for those who fail to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses.”
While some regional school districts, including Pikeland, have seen parents protesting vaccine and mask mandates, VanDeVelde said Scott County schools have been relatively free of drama.
“We have honestly not had too much rumble in our area about it thus far,” VanDeVelde said. “I think there will be more to come on this, as it is all relatively new and as it is such a controversial situation.”