The coronavirus vaccine is open to individuals 65 and older in Colusa County, but that will not speed up the Public Health Department’s ability to get a shot in every arm.
Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Kelly said that while she would like to see as many people as possible get vaccinated, California has allocated Colusa County just 200 vaccine doses every 10 days.
“We do not have enough doses to vaccinate all that we need to vaccinate,” Kelly said.
Meanwhile, an 11th Colusa County resident has died from COVID-19 disease, which is caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus. The pandemic is now officially entering its second year of community transmission in the United States.
The first California case of COVID-19 was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control on Jan. 26, 2020. On Jan. 26, 2021, COVID-19 peaked in Colusa County with 493 positive cases in isolation, the highest number reached since the first local case was reported on March 27.
While a surge in coronavirus cases continued on a steady incline through December and January, trends have somewhat reversed.
As of Feb. 1, the number of positive cases in Colusa County dropped significantly to just 111 people in isolation, although that number increased over the weekend by 20 people.
Hospitalizations and the number of ICU beds have also dropped. There were 7 people hospitalized, as of Tuesday.
The county also reported that 1,831 people have recovered from the virus.
Since the first doses of the vaccine arrived in Colusa County in January, 816 doses have been distributed to local health providers, including Ampla Health and Colusa Medical Center clinics, so they can vaccinate their most vulnerable patients and those 65 years and older.
As of Tuesday, Colusa clinic had booked appointments at least a month out for most elderly patients.
Colusa has received a total 1,890 doses of the vaccine to date, with 264 doses administered to health care workers, firefighters, dentists, pharmacy technicians, Behavioral Health workers, and some of the county’s in-home health care workers.
Teachers, child care workers, and local law enforcement are among those next on the list, but with limited vaccines available at any given time, Kelly expects older and more vulnerable people within each of those subgroups to be given first priority. Colusa County also is making plans to vaccinate vulnerable and older populations of individuals who do not have primary care physicians, and will begin administering second doses to the first groups next week.
Kelly described the county’s receipt of vaccine doses as a “slow painful drip,” and has been told by the State of California that she cannot request additional vaccines above Colusa County’s current allocation.
“I am completely handcuffed,” she said. “There is nothing I can do or say to the state that is going to change the allocation.”
Kelly assured the Colusa County Board of Supervisors, in her report on Tuesday, that all doses received will get into the arms of people who want and need it.
“We are not sitting on any vaccine and no vaccine is being disposed of,” she said.
Colusa County has launched a new dashboard about COVID-19 on its website that now shows the total vaccine the county has received, how much has been distributed to health care providers, and how much the county has administered.
The website also lists the phases of distribution, what phase the county is in, and what phase the county has completed.
Information can be obtained by visiting countyofcolusa.org/771/COVID19. ♣