Round two in coronavirus fight starts Monday

Coronavirus vaccinations for educators and day care workers could begin starting Monday.

Health agencies will be rolling out vaccines to residents 75 years or older by the end of January, Quad County Preparedness Manager Jeanine Freeman told Douglas County commissioners on Thursday

“There will be multiple outlets where people can get it,” she said. “This is a no-cost vaccine and is open to everyone. When you become eligible you should go get it.”

She said that when the vaccine becomes available, information will be announced through the media and any other means available.

Based on appointments, 5,077 of the 5,355 doses of the vaccine ordered will have been administered to first tier subjects by end of business on Saturday. Those included front line health care workers and first responders, along with residents of longterm care facilities. Private pharmacies CVS and Walgreens are working with the care homes to provide vaccinations.

A Tier 1 vaccination clinic was conducted at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center on Wednesday, Freeman said.

The second dose of the vaccine should be administered to those in Tier 1 in the coming weeks. The vaccine requires two doses administered 25 days apart to be fully effective.

Freeman said vaccinating the second tier will be a massive undertaking.

“We don’t have to wait to move through the tier,” she said. “We just need to make sure we’ve done our due diligence and vaccinated everyone who is interested in receiving the vaccine.”

Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. John Holman said he received the vaccination two weeks ago.

“I haven’t turned green and I don’t have a horn growing out of my head,” he said. “My arm was kind of sore, but it didn’t stop me from going skiing.”

He encouraged residents to get the vaccine, but said he recognized there are people who choose to decline.

On Thursday, commissioners voted to continue meeting virtually via Zoom, but said they wanted to arrange so that people can provide public comment on items up for commission action.

Commissioners have been meeting virtually since April under the Governor’s Emergency Directive. That included taking public comment at the beginning and at the end of meetings, which is allowed under the Nevada Open Meeting Law.

County Manager Patrick Cates said his concern with in-person meetings were for county employees.

As an employer, the county is subject to the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules. Cates said that the state’s case against the county over the Trump rally in September fell apart when it was proven no county employees were involved.

He said that in Washoe County and Carson City, the boards are meeting without the public, while Lyon County is using Zoom.

He said he would like to get to the point where there is a hybrid meeting where people can submit comments.

The county has experienced a significant increase in COVID-19 cases since just before Thanksgiving.

As of Thursday night, Douglas has experienced three deaths in three days, including men in their 40s, 70s and 80s.

Douglas County Emergency Management reported 18 new cases and eight recoveries bringing the county to 1,014 active cases, 1,075 recoveries and 21 deaths. Of those 20 have occurred since Nov. 4.

Asymptomatic testing returns to the Douglas County Community & Senior Center 1-3 p.m. Jan. 19.


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