It was an emotional moment today (Wednesday, Dec. 16. 2020) as Kane County and Sherman Hospital officials and frontline workers witnessed the arrival of the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine distributed today (Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020) by the Kane County Health Department.
The initial shipment of 4,795 doses of the vaccine was delivered to the priority group of the five Kane County hospitals.
“Today is an exciting day for Kane County,” said KCHD Interim Executive Director Kathy Fosser. “It marks the beginning of the end of COVID-19 in our community. Thanks to our health department staff, the staff at all five of our Kane County hospitals, the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and Kane County Emergency Management for coordinating the vaccine distribution. We look forward to increased shipments and increased vaccinations in the coming days.”
The first group to receive the vaccine under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations are healthcare workers and those serving in healthcare facility settings who are at an increased risk of exposure. Distribution to hospitals will roll out over the next few weeks, depending on supply.
Vaccinations for the other priority group of staff and residents at long-term care facilities will be conducted by personnel from CVS and Walgreens drug stores under a national program. The expected start for long-term care facility vaccinations is late December.
“The Sheriff’s Office is proud to support the security, movement, and logistics of the COVID vaccine distribution across Kane County,” said Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain. “We have established a seamless working relationship with our Health Department and we are confident that the county will be able to expeditiously supply all of our citizens the opportunity for vaccination and a soon return to normalcy.”
Vaccinations for the general public are not likely to begin until early spring. Kane County residents will be informed of availability at that time. The health department is currently not accepting vaccination appointments.
For questions about the COVID Vaccine, contact the Kane County Health Department at COVIDVaccine@co.kane.il.us
KCHD Coordinating With Long-Term Care Facilities, as Well
The Health Department is currently coordinating with hospital health care systems, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, and federally qualified healthcare facilities to prepare to make the vaccine immediately available to the staff in those locations.
KCHD is also working closely with first responder departments, including Fire Departments and EMS systems to prepare for vaccine distribution to all first responder personnel throughout the county.
As part of its normal responsibilities, the Health Department’s Public Health Preparedness Program develops and executes plans for mass-vaccination as well as distribution of other items received through the federal and state strategic national stockpile program such as personal protective equipment.
The public is advised to continue to take precautions. Wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain your social distance. Avoid social gatherings and get tested if you think you have been exposed.
Drive-through community-based COVID-19 testing is available in Aurora at 2450 N. Farnsworth Ave., across from the Chicago Premium Outlets.
The drive-through and walk-up testing site is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Testing is free and available to all regardless of age, COVID-19 symptoms, or insurance status. A parent or guardian must be present and able to provide consent for individuals under the age of 18.
Additional testing options are available in Kane County. For more information about all available testing sites in Kane County, visit the IDPH website at Test-Illinois.com Many healthcare providers in Kane County also have COVID-19 testing available. Please contact your provider or the facility to ask about testing criteria and appointment availability.
For additional information and current updates on the COVID-19 situation, visit the KCHD website at KaneHealth.com or call the health department at 630-208-3801.
SOURCE: Kane County Health Department news release. Photos courtesy of the Kane County Information Technologies Department