By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Public Health offers form for vaccine notification

People can sign up to be notified when there is enough vaccine available for them to make an appointment. They will receive a phone call notifying when vaccine appointments are available, and providing instructions on how to make an appointment.

A link to the registration form is available on the county’s vaccine webpage, at hhs.co.yamhill.or.us/publichealth/page/vaccines. If people don’t have internet access or have difficulties with the form, they may call 503-474-4100.

The county is also relying on doctors to call their patients, once they have vaccine available for them.

People 80 and older are now eligible for the vaccine. Starting next week, people 75 and older will be eligible — contingent, however, on the supply of doses available. The county is not receiving enough for everyone in its weekly allotments.

The county is also still trying to finish vaccinating people in earlier categories: healthcare workers, first responders, parents and caregivers of medically-fragile children or adults, school staff and childcare providers. School staff are asked to make their appointments through their districts.

As of Wednesday Feb. 10, the county said, it had administered 9,453 vaccine doses. Of those, 2,548 were to people who have now received both doses. The county said people who have received one dose through a county clinic will be notified when it is time to make an appointment for a second.

Health officials warn that while vaccines protect against becoming seriously ill from the virus, they are not 100% effective, and they may not prevent people from transmitting the virus to others.

People who are infected but have no symptoms can still transmit the virus. Health officials urge people to continue masking and social distancing, even after being fully vaccinated.

The Oregon Health Authority announced this week that it is also trying to help eligible seniors find out where to receive vaccinations.

An information page is available at getvaccinated.oregon.gov, users can find out whether they are eligible, and sign up for alerts about vaccination events.

People also may text ORCOVID to 898211 for text updates about vaccination clinics in English or Spanish, or send e-mail inquiries to ORCOVID@211infor.org, call 211, or call 866-698-6155, a vaccine information line open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. However, high call volumes may mean long wait times.

Oregon also has opted into a federal retail pharmacy program that will offer eligible seniors the option to get vaccinated at 133 retail locations across the state, according to the OHA. Dates for vaccine availability have not yet been announced, although some may begin as early as next week.

The county said some people may receive phone calls from their pharmacies as vaccine becomes available. Most sent to Oregon is expected to go to Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies, according to the Oregonian. More information is available at alertsons.com/COVID-19 and www.safeway.com/COVID-19. 


Some national health experts
fear another surge in cases in the coming weeks, because the U.K. variant, which has been found in Yamhill County, is spreading rapidly, and often going undetected.

Yamhill County announced 24 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the county to a total of 3,615 cases to date. There have been 60 deaths in the county from the disease.

Statewide, there have been 2,044 deaths from COVID-19, as of Wednesday, and 148,475 cases.

The state’s weekly report for Feb. 1 through Feb. 6 showed decreases in the number of new cases and hospitalizations.

Yamhill County remains one of 14 counties in the state that will remain in the Extreme Risk category at least through Feb. 25, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday. Frustrated county commissioners have said they are pushing the governor’s office to relax restrictions so that more county businesses can re-open.

Ten counties, including the Portland tri-county area (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas), were reduced from Extreme to High, allowing for limited indoor dining at restaurants, bars and tasting rooms, among other reduced restrictions.

County risk levels are reassigned by the state every two weeks. For the most recent measuring period, Jan. 24 to Feb. 6, there were 252 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 recorded for Yamhill County — a rate of 233.2 cases per 100,000 population. 

To be lowered to the High risk category, Yamhill County must be under 200 cases per 100,000. There were 296 cases reported in the previous two-week measuring period.

“Thanks to Oregonians who have stepped up and made smart choices, we have made incredible progress in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives in Oregon,” said Brown in a press release.

“This week we will see 10 counties move out of Extreme Risk, including the Portland tri-county area, for the first time since November. This is welcome news, as we’ll start to see more businesses open up and Oregonians being able to get out a bit more.”

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