THONWS-02-24-21 COVID UPDATES

DAVIDSON COUNTY — A federal partnership with Walgreens promises to bring more COVID-19 vaccines to Davidson County.

Health officials say they are hopeful that a federal retail pharmacy program will create the first of many additional opportunities for local residents to receive vaccines. According to a news release earlier this month, Walgreens was selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide a limited number of vaccinations across 15 states and jurisdictions as part of the program.

The CDC selected Walgreens as a partner to optimize vaccine access in medically underserved areas and areas with a high social vulnerability index score. A defined number of vaccine doses are allocated from the CDC directly to Walgreens in each location served.

Vaccinations began in certain markets last week to eligible individuals based on state and jurisdiction guidelines. The Walgreens program will not decrease the allotment of vaccines that the county health department receives, according to the health department.

The announcement comes as the health department continues to vaccinate six days per week. A total of 14,392 vaccines had been administered in Davidson County as of Feb. 8. At press time, 13,708 positive tests have been recorded in the county, 144 of whom have died. According to the NCDHHS, Thomasville’s 27360 zip code has reported 4,137 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, including 47 deaths, up one from last week.

Due to continual shifting of health department resources toward preventative measures, contact tracing is not available in the way the department was conducting it throughout the pandemic. The health department can no longer accurately report the number of individuals cleared from isolation or the number of those hospitalized.

Statewide, however, the NCDHHS reported that 1,989 people were hospitalized as of Feb. 14. Of the 821,894 total cases, 10,482 had died. Official statewide data on the COVID-19 pandemic is available at https://www.ncdhhs.gov/covid-19-case-count-nc.

Eligible residents are encouraged to call the appointment line number at 336-236-3096 or visit https://www.co.davidson.nc.us/976/COVID-19-Vaccine. Health officials ask those who would like to be vaccinated keep in mind that the health department has an extremely limited supply of the vaccine and that the appointment line call volume remains very high.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.