County asks all vaccine-seekers to sign up

Yadkin County is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations to people age 16 and up who are in Group 4, which is those who have high-risk medical conditions, County Manager Lisa Hughes told commissioners at their meeting Monday. The county is also asking anyone who wants a vaccine — including those in Group 5 — to register with the health department because they are having so many no-shows for appointments that they are at risk of not using vaccines.

Last week, 30 appointments no-showed on Friday, and on Monday morning, county officials scrambled to contact others who are signed up but on waiting lists. Those on the waiting list were offered vaccines that same day Monday. If the county does not use the vaccines it is issued, it may see its vaccine supply reduced by the state, Hughes said.

“Staff pulled together [Monday] and were able to get all 30 slots filled,” she told commissioners. “We have 600 doses more coming in for Saturday’s clinic. As of [Monday] morning, only half of them are claimed.”

The county is also working to reach out to the Hispanic community to ensure they have access to vaccines. Hughes told commissioners that she is having trouble reaching leaders at the area Catholic church that serves a large Hispanic population. She said she has heard that the congregation members have concerns about reports of how fetal tissue may have been used in the development or production of vaccines and county health officials would like an opportunity to discuss those concerns with them.

Hughes also announced that the county estimates it will receive $7.3 million in funds from the recently passed federal stimulus bill. Chairman Kevin Austin reported he had received estimates for how much stimulus funding — separate from county stimulus funds — that the county’s municipalities would receive:

• $330,000 for Boonville

• $180,000 for East Bend

• $650,000 for Jonesville

• $840,000 for Yadkinville

In other business Monday, commissioners approved:

• An additional $2,100 to be spent on educational COVID billboards through July. The county had previously spent $3,264 with Toby Outdoors on the billboards.

• The purchase of a $31,215 2021 Ford Ranger for use by county permitting employees. Their 2017 Ford Explorer was totaled in a car accident recently when another vehicle ran a red light and hit the Explorer. No one was injured. After insurance proceeds, the cost to the county will be $12,500 for the purchase.

• The purchase of two 2021 Dodge Chargers for the Sheriff’s Department. Two aging cruisers were damaged in accidents recently, one of which was a collision with a deer. The total cost for the two vehicles will be $61,000, of which the county will pay $45,000 after insurance proceeds.

Commissioners are also awaiting nominations for appointments to the following board vacancies: the Joint Nursing Home Adult Care Home Committee, the Historic Richmond Hill Law School Commission, and the Surry County Housing Consortium. Anyone interested should contact the county clerk to the board.

Lisa Michals may be reached at 336-448-4968 or follow her on Twitter @lisamichals3.

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