Clark County to hold drive-thru vaccine clinic for health care personnel

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 8:00 PM CST
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CURTISS, Wis. (WSAW) - The health department will host a drive-thru clinic to vaccinate health care workers in Clark County for COVID-19 on Thursday. The county received 200 doses and will administer the vaccines to those eligible at the Owen-Withee-Curtiss Fire District in Curtiss from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. It will not be done by appointment.

Health care personnel are eligible to receive the vaccine at the drive-thru clinic if they provide proof of employment, a driver’s license or identification, and complete a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine administration record form. Full details for what people need to provide can be found here.

“We are seeing a significant impact based on our population, I think it’s quite significant,” John Ross, the county’s emergency management director said about COVID-19′s impact on the county. “We are hoping that people take full advantage of it (the vaccine drive-thru), as many as possible to maximize the impact of it.”

This event is not for the general public, but the public is asked to avoid the area as the county is expecting higher volumes of traffic.

The 200 doses are not enough to vaccinate every health care worker in the county, but Ross explained it will help get the vaccine to agencies that may not have the means to get the doses directly to their staff.

“We have a lot of smaller assisted living facilities, group-home type settings, care facilities that are smaller we know need to get the vaccine and this is a way of targeting that,” he explained.

Personnel at Ascension and Marshfield Clinic in Clark County will receive vaccines through the doses their health systems received. Ross said the four nursing homes in the county also signed up to have staff and residents vaccinated through the federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens.

Then that leaves places like Colby Retirement Community, which does not fall under the nursing home category and is not part of a large network. Its director, Samantha Kilty, was happy to hear the news of the drive-thru Monday morning.

“I mean, I think it’s an extremely exciting opportunity for us,” she sighed.

Kilty said they anticipated being part of a high priority to be vaccinated, but the drive-thru has sped up the date.

“This will just make a world of a difference because I think that this will give us the opportunity to start sooner than we anticipated,” she said, adding she, her staff, and residents are ready to get back to normal operating procedures.

“Everybody’s struggling. Our residents are sad. Our staff are sad and we’re just trying to hang in there just like the rest of the world,” she said.

Of their 17 staff members and 20 residents, 7 employees and six residents contracted COVID-19. All survived, but Kilty said some people are still dealing with health issues weeks later.

They have worked to brighten the spirits of people in their care by finding creative ways for people to visit, but it still is not the same as being able to hug a family member.

“Even if a few of us are able to get the vaccine on Thursday, I think it will be tremendous for our property,” she urged.

Some of her staff have some reservations about getting vaccinated, mostly concerned about any long-term side-effects. Kilty said they have had webinars with the health department and had opportunities to ask questions about the vaccine so they all can make informed decisions. Kilty is confident in how the vaccine was approved and the research is a promising step forward in not only protecting themselves but residents too.

To read the county’s full press release, click here. To learn more about the vaccine, click here.

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