Even as the rollout of vaccinations is underway, new cases of COVID-19 continue in the county.
Starting with the numbers, reported on Jan. 12:
- Alamo – 67 (4 more since Jan. 1)
- Caliente – 119 (7 more)
- Panaca – 63 (9 more)
- Pioche – 49 (8 more)
- Other – 9 (no change)
The total number of cases in Lincoln County has now climbed to 307. Thirty-three of those cases are still active, with three of those cases discovered Jan. 13.
At the moment, Tier 2 vaccinations are currently underway to the following groups, according to Rowe: “Education and childcare staff, Nevada System of Higher Education, essential public transportation, agriculture and food processing, essential retail workers, utilities and communications infrastructure, NDOT and local emergency road personnel, community support, depository credit institution workforce, mortuary services and the remaining public health workforce.”
Additionally, people who are 70 years of age and older can receive the vaccine.
At the moment, only the clinic in Caliente and the county health nurse in Panaca are offering vaccinations.
As for when the vaccine will reach every group of people possible, Rowe hopes it will only be a matter of two or three weeks, but everything has to be determined by the state.
Anyone that finds themselves in the aforementioned groups can contact the Caliente clinic or the county health nurse. Scheduling will continue to be key in when people will be able to get the shot. This is all due to the nature of the vaccine and how it is stored. Moderna’s vaccine needs to be very carefully thawed once it’s ready for use. As soon as it thaws, the clinic has six hours to use the complete dosage, or it spoils. There are 10 dosages in each vial, so in those six hours, they will need to ensure that they have 10 (and only 10) people to vaccinate.
“People have to understand that we need to have, for example, 30 people, not 32,” Rowe explained. “We have to have the right amount to give those doses.”
As for how this process may change in the future, Rowe has no concrete answer, but she says that they may switch to “pod vaccinations” to make things smoother. This means they may work through groups, like fire departments, for example, and make sure that they schedule the right amount of people per vaccine, while continuing to work toward mass vaccinations. However, nothing is set in stone, and all of the medical staff in Lincoln County just seem happy that the vaccine is being distributed.
If you fall into one of the current groups that can receive the vaccination, contact the county health nurse at (775) 962-8086 or the Caliente clinic at (775) 726-3121 to schedule an appointment. You will be contacted when they are available to receive you.