Due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country and locally, Linn County has closed most buildings to the public to help reduce community spread of the virus and to help ensure continuity of County services.
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As vaccine supply increases, Linn County Public Health is prepared to hold large public clinics for eligible populations in addition to current methods of vaccine distribution. It will be important to offer a variety of methods for people to receive vaccine, as there is not one option that is best for everyone. The model that has been used for clinics for targeted populations has helped prepare for larger scale, public clinics. Plans are underway for a large scale clinic for the general population between April 22 and 28 at Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids. An exact date has not yet been finalized. Once a date is determined, we will announce the clinic through a news release, on our website, through social media channels, and in print media. Approximately 1,000 people per day could be vaccinated at the Lindale location, but will be dependent on vaccine supply. We continue to explore other locations in the community that will also support large-scale public clinics.
Additionally, targeted clinics are being planned throughout April and May. The Cedar Rapids NAACP is working with Linn County Public Health to hold two vaccine clinics. They will be at The ROC Center which is located at 1202 10th St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, in the Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood. Clinic hours are from 4:30pm to 6:30pm Tuesday April 6th and from 9:00am to 11:00am on Saturday April 10th. Dedric Doolin is lead for the ROC Clinic. To schedule an appointment, call or text Dedric at 319-560-0482.
Linn County Public Health is also partnering with YPN, Geneva Towers, and Catherine McAuley Center to hold vaccine clinics for targeted populations. In addition to these community clinics, Mercy Medical Center is working with local homeless shelters to organize vaccine clinics. We thank our local vaccine providers and community partners for their tireless efforts to address vaccine hesitancy and vaccinate our community. We will continue to offer clinics as vaccine rollout continues.
Linn County Public Health continues to develop and share educational information about COVID-19 vaccines, such as COVID-19 Vaccine Basics and CDC’s Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines. Tools for providing information on COVID-19 vaccine can be found at LinnCounty.org/Vaccine and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Communication Resources for COVID-19 Vaccines website.
Linn County Public Health has released a COVID-19 Vaccine Public Service Announcement. The video can be shared widely to provide information on COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
On Monday, April 5, the Iowa Department of Public Health will rescind existing Vaccine Shortage Orders issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health. Beginning April 5, any person age 16 or 18 and over (as defined by the respective vaccine Emergency Use Authorization) is eligible to receive a vaccination from enrolled COVID-19 Vaccine Providers.
On March 30, the Iowa Department of Public Health announced 211 to Assist Vaccine Appointment Scheduling for More Iowans, expanding vaccine navigator services to the 16-64 with underlying conditions population. Iowans age 16 to 64 with underlying conditions can call 211 or (800) 244-7431 for help with scheduling a vaccine appointment.
The CDC continues to update guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. Today, it was announced those that are fully vaccinated may travel in the United States, and do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel. Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely, including wearing a mask, practice social distancing, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
As of March 14, all Phase 1B populations in Linn County are eligible for vaccine. However, the demand for vaccine is greater than the supply, so not everyone in Phase 1B will be able to get vaccine right away. Populations currently eligible for vaccine in Phase 1B include persons 65 years and older, individuals 16 to 64 with medical conditions, and Phase 1B Tiers 1-5.
Of vaccine allocated to Linn County through Linn County Public Health, 80% will be assigned to adults 65 and older, individuals with disabilities and their caretakers, and individuals age 16 to 64 with underlying conditions. The remaining 20% of vaccine will be assigned to Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tier 1-5 populations, in priority order. This allocation strategy for vaccine will remain in place as supply increases. Linn County will receive approximately 6,000 doses the week of April 5. The allocation the week of April 5 will include the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, to be used for special or at-risk populations.
For questions about COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County:
Please sign up to receive email notifications for COVID-19 Status Updates to keep up-to-date on vaccine rollout updates and other important information regarding COVID-19 response. For assistance with signing up for updates, view this video. In addition to the Linn County COVID-19 vaccine website LinnCounty.org/Vaccine, updates will also be shared on Facebook and Twitter. For questions on COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County, call 319-892-6097. Stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information.
Today, Governor Reynolds signed a new Public Health Disaster proclamation that extends critical regulatory relief for an additional 30 days to those on the frontlines of COVID19 recovery. The proclamation continues to strongly encourage Iowans, businesses, and organizations to take reasonable public health measures consistent with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health. The proclamation also continues to extend the waiver on transportation restrictions for overweight loads. The proclamation can found online here.
Note: The State of Iowa has transitioned from reporting positive individuals to positive tests. Linn County will continue to report positive individuals. Therefore, numbers from the state and Linn County dashboard will not match.
Additional data on COVID-19 cases is available on Linn County’s case count dashboard.
Additional Linn County metrics are available on Linn County’s metrics dashboard.
For more COVID-19 information specific to Linn County, visit LinnCounty.org/COVID19.