Vaccines continue in Kosciusko County as COVID numbers stay low

Kosciusko County Health Officer Dr. Bill Remington answers a media question during the March 17th bi-weekly COVID briefing. (Photo: Nick Deranek/News Now Warsaw)

Local officials continue to be optimistic about the coronavirus pandemic as metrics have stayed low and vaccines continue to be distributed.

In the weekly county metric update from the Indiana Department of Public Health, Kosciusko County’s seven-day positivity rate at just over two percent and only 65 cases of COVID per 100,000 residents, keeping it in the blue advisory.

Miami, Wabash and Noble Counties are also in blue, while Marshall, Fulton, Elkhart and Whitley Counties are in yellow. See the latest from the state here.

Kosciusko County Health Officer Dr. Bill Remington said the county is getting a weekly allotment of 1,600 Moderna doses from the state, and have 200 Johnson & Johnson vaccines ready, but plan to use those for a special clinic that will be announced sometime this week.

He says inoculating people have been keeping his department busy, “We are doing this on the backs of approximately 230 volunteer hours weekly on top of our paid staff. There are wonderful people giving up their time without a nickel in it for them, maybe occasionally somebody brings by lunch, and they work hard.”

He said Tuesday alone, 399 doses were administered. He continues to tell the public that the vaccine is very safe. When asked if the county would be ready to roll out to all adults by May 1st, which is a date that President Joe Biden asked states to have the vaccines ready for all adults, Remington said if the county has the vaccines, they will be ready to give them.

“We can only accommodate so many people with the amount we are allocated. Coming with that, opening up the invite, you are offered more of the vaccine, then we would ramp up some of the contingency discussions and move there quickly to provide more serving lines for the residents of Kosciusko County… I really like this progressive age (schedule) that the state has done. Especially a month ago, think of what we did with the most vulnerable population by putting them at the high priority, and I like the schedule basis.”

“Let them come, but please give us more vaccine as you can.”

Currently, Indiana is offering vaccines for those 45 and older, along with long-term care residents, first responders (firefighters, police officers and sheriff’s deputies, emergency medical services, reservists and correctional officers) who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid, and licensed and unlicensed healthcare workers who have in-person contact with patients or infectious material in any healthcare setting, and educators.

You can schedule your vaccine appointment through the state website here, by calling 2-1-1, or you can call the local hotline run by the Bowen Center at 574-347-4256, which is open Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 7 PM. The Bowen Center hotline is bilingual in both English and Spanish.

Local officials will be hosting another COVID briefing on Wednesday, March 31st at 10:30 AM from Warsaw City Hall.