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Genesee County responds to rise in COVID-19 cases

Genesee County’s seven-day average of daily cases per million population increased by almost 100 cases per million between March 2-19. The county’s positive test rate seven day average also nearly doubled in the same two week period

In accordance with Governor Gretchen Whitmer announcement from March 12, Genesee County opened COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration eligibility to all individuals aged 16 years or older with a medical condition this Monday, March 22.

Generally, most of Genesee County’s vaccine has been Moderna, and a smaller amount of Janssen Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These are both licensed for use in adults aged 18 and older. They will be receiving Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is licensed for use in individuals 16 years of age and older, but the clinics which use Pfizer will be intermittently scheduled.

To ensure all interested individuals are able to register for vaccine, Genesee County Health Department has begun a staggered pre-registration schedule. This schedule will help prevent website and technology related issues due to excessive website traffic.

Their ongoing vaccination is mainly with the earlier eligibility groups, particularly persons age 50 and older, but they have begun to vaccinate some people in this newest group with medical conditions or essential workers who had not been eligible before.

Their goal is to contact all persons remaining on the pre-registration site with the next three weeks and then go to a phone system that can directly schedule appointments as people register or call in.

Generally the health department and their community partners have been hosting 8-10 vaccine events per week. Their permanent sites are Northwestern High School and Bishop Airport.

Their newest partner has been Kroger, who will aid in getting people vaccinate according to the priority guidelines.

They also have plans to begin weekly clinics at Mott Community College on April 20, with staffing by the health department as well as volunteers from Mott College programs.

In addition, the county anticipates a large boost of vaccines coming from the state beginning some time in the near future. To meet their goal of getting the vaccines in the arms of residents, the health department is exploring options to get even more capacity both in terms of longer hours and more days at their clinic sites and also to meet the needs of taking the vaccine to the homebound to serve them.

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