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Rowan Health Department working on plans for evening vaccination clinic

SALISBURY — Pleased with how efficiently its COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been working, the Rowan County Health Department is planning its first evening clinic for next week.

The clinic is tentatively planned for Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. To date, all drive-thru clinics have been morning or afternoon events. Once details are finalized for the evening clinic, the Health Department will announce them, interim Health Director Alyssa Harris said.

Sign-ups will be made available at 10 a.m. Monday. The department also will know how many vaccines it receives for distribution by then, Harris said.

“We do want to make sure we are meeting the needs of the community,” she said.

Like all of its vaccination clinics up to this point, the evening clinic will likely be a drive-thru event. Harris said she’s impressed by the efficiency with which the department has been administering vaccines recently.

“Just watching this team come together and figure out what is going to work best for the citizens of Rowan has been amazing,” Harris said. “We got up to 280 at one point at vaccines per hour.”

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says at least 17,127 first doses have been administered to Rowan residents, which doesn’t count the Health Department’s drive-thru clinic hosted Thursday. There have now been 12,126 second doses administered in the county.

Roughly 12.1% of Rowan County residents have received one dose of a vaccine and 8.5% have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The once-long wait times, Harris said, have been cut down by using an appointment-only schedule and cutting down on small inefficiencies as they’re identified.

During a clinic Thursday, the Health Department distributed 740 doses that were allotted by the state. The rest of the doses, Harris said, were shared with local health providers and pharmacies.

Harris said she feels good about the number of doses the county is receiving but expects more coming soon.

“Obviously we would love to have more because the more doses we have, the more we can get out to the public,” Harris said. “I have a feeling that we’re going to start to see more doses come in, especially as production has increased. We’ve started to see more different providers having doses available.”

She encourages people to get vaccinated wherever they can schedule an appointment, whether it’s at West End Plaza, a Novant Health facility or at North Carolina’s largest vaccination site that opened in Greensboro this week.

Other than new vaccinations, there were relatively few pandemic changes Thursday in Rowan County. Just 27 new COVID-19 positives were reported. There were no new deaths.

The Triad Health Care Preparedness Coalition, Rowan County’s region, reported 236 people hospitalized Thursday with COVID-19. That included 32 people admitted in the previous 24 hours.

Statewide on Thursday, there were 2,061 new positives and 1,039 people hospitalized. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 11,622 total deaths.

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