With the recent news of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use, vaccine supply in Olmsted County and the state is expected to increase.
All three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use are safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19 illness, related hospitalizations, and death. When it’s your turn, it’s recommended that you get any of the three vaccines.
Take the first opportunity to get vaccinated that is offered to you
Navigating when you or a loved one is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can be challenging. Several locations in Olmsted County are offering the vaccine in alignment with state guidelines as vaccine supply becomes available. Minnesota is currently vaccinating remaining health care professionals, persons 65 and over, E-12 educators and support staff, and daycare workers. You may have the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at multiple locations.
Last week, the State of Minnesota expanded the E-12 definition to include all staff, not just student-facing staff. This change adds roughly another 1,800 people in Olmsted County who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Olmsted County Public Health Services is working with school districts and child care providers directly to get E-12 staff vaccinated when vaccine becomes available.
State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program (CVP)
The State of Minnesota will be opening a new community vaccination site this week in Rochester for a one-day vaccination clinic. The large-scale, semi-permanent site will be the third of its kind, joining vaccination sites in Minneapolis and Duluth that launched last week. The Rochester site will be able to serve approximately 1,500 people. This week’s vaccination clinic will be for people 65 years of age and older.
Local COVID-19 vaccination clinics continue to be scheduled for designated Olmsted County businesses, organizations, and employees following CDC guidelines for prioritization of those most at risk of exposure or complications from COVID-19.
Olmsted County Public Health Services (OCPHS) is collaborating with Olmsted Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, several additional Olmsted County Departments, City of Rochester, Rochester Police Department, Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, and Rochester Community and Technical College to vaccinate up to 2,200 individuals in the last priority group, Phase 1A-3. Clinics will be held on Friday and Saturday, February 5 and 6, 2021. This is the first mass vaccination COVID-19 clinic offered by OCPHS.
The week of January 25, 2021, Olmsted County Public Health, Mayo Clinic, and Olmsted Medical Center (OMC) began vaccinating populations in Phase 1a priority 3 groups, including all remaining community health care personnel who cannot work remotely. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals such as dental office staff, hospice staff, optometrists, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, morticians, orthopedics and rehabilitation staff, laboratory services staff, and funeral directors.
Olmsted County Public Health continues to prepare for vaccinations to expand into community healthcare organizations and critical infrastructure workers. We encourage businesses, organizations, and agencies in Olmsted County to complete the business vaccination planning form. This form will help identify all the businesses in the county and determine where the business falls within the phases and priorities.
Olmsted County Public Health continues to see high numbers of COVID-19 positive residents in our community. Olmsted County Public Health is recommending that individuals who gathered with others outside their immediate households over the holiday weekend limit their time around others and if possible, stay home and isolated for 14 days after the last day spent with non-household contacts. People should monitor their health for any symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested if symptoms do develop.
The last day of COVID-19 testing at Graham Park will be Nov. 14. The Community Testing Collaborative, formerly known as the Graham Park Collaborative COVID-19 Testing Site, will begin transitioning to two new indoor locations on Thursday, Nov. 12, to provide staff and patients a warmer, safer place to be tested during winter.