The Grayson County Health Department has moved into Phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination rollout, with staff from the Grayson County school district receiving their first doses of the vaccine this week.

Those who will be vaccinated in Phase 1B include school employees and Grayson County residents aged 70 and older, according to Grayson County Public Health Director Josh Embry, who added that residents aged 60 and older will begin to be vaccinated in the next phase.

On Tuesday of this week, the health department reported that it had received enough vaccine doses to vaccinate school staff (both public and private) and it would be working through the week to vaccinate those staff members who requested vaccination.

The department also announced that it had received enough doses to schedule the second dose for those due for their follow-up shots through the health department, and those individuals were expected to receive calls to set up their appointments.

Between these two groups, their vaccinations were expected to consume the amount of doses the health department received this week.

Embry, in a separate interview, also said that all three assisted living facilities in Grayson County — Spring View Nursing & Rehabilitation, Grayson Nursing & Rehabilitation, and BeeHive Homes of Leitchfield — have received their initial doses of the coronavirus vaccine from Walgreens.

Residents aged 70 and older who wish to be added to the health department’s Phase 1B vaccination waitlist may do so by calling the department at 270-259-3141 or registering online at surveymonkey.com/r/LQT8C3H?fbclid=IwAR3GhxS3hH0Xck2A-QMrnMIxqH7WAs85mP_CAl7lJESCeaZa2I8VkgbPOEw.

Because of an influx in calls from residents requesting to be vaccinated, the health department announced this week that it would be installing three additional phone lines to help catch calls.

The health department is also accepting volunteers to help answer calls, and anyone wishing to serve in this capacity is encouraged to contact Marlaina Priest-Meier at 270-259-3141. Background checks and HIPAA compliance will be required for volunteers.

As of the health department’s most recent update prior to press time (Wednesday), Grayson County’s total number of positive COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic had risen to 1,617, with 155 individuals isolated with the virus and 13 of those individuals hospitalized.

To date, 1,417 individuals have recovered from the virus, and Grayson County’s COVID-19 related death toll has risen to 45, with three cases under review.

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