Due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country and locally, Linn County has closed most buildings to the public to help reduce community spread of the virus and to help ensure continuity of County services.
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As Phase 1B of the COVID-19 Vaccine rollout continues this week, Linn County Public Health has updated information for Phase 1B populations, which include persons 65 and older, prioritized frontline workers, and specific populations vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness. Linn County Public Health is working closely with Linn County providers to simplify communication of vaccine scheduling. It is still important to note vaccine continues to be in short supply. Not everyone who is eligible for a vaccine will be able to schedule an appointment at this time. Additional appointments will open as supply increases. LCPH is working with all Linn County providers to ensure vaccine will eventually be available to everyone who wants it.
Persons 65 years of age and older
Due to the limited amount of vaccine available, appointments are required at all vaccine provider locations and are anticipated to fill quickly. Additional appointments will open as supply increases. Local health care providers are using multiple methods to contact patients regarding how to schedule vaccine appointments. Each provider has their own process for contacting their patients and making vaccine appointments. Information on COVID-19 vaccination appointments for adults 65 and older is available at LinnCounty.org/1514/Adults-65.
In general, visiting your healthcare provider’s website or social media is the best way to find updated information on vaccine availability and to find out what method your provider is using to schedule vaccine appointments. For individuals without online access, many providers have call centers set up for assistance with vaccine appointments.
Linn County Public Health has set up a COVID-19 vaccine call center, which is staffed Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM. The COVID-19 vaccine call center number is 319-892-6097. This resource is available to anyone with questions about COVID-19 vaccine, or anyone who needs help finding a primary care provider. When able, Linn County Public Health can help schedule appointments, if open appointment slots are available in the community. Some appointment types require an email address, so we may not be able to schedule for those appointments if callers do not have an email address. To better serve our community, we ask that loved ones who are able please help individuals 65 and older find information and schedule appointments online when available. That will allow us to be more responsive to persons who have no other resource for receiving updated information or assistance. Heritage Area Agency on Aging is another resource for older adults. Older adults wanting to contact their Area Agency on Aging in Iowa should call 1-866-468-7887.
Tier 1 Populations
This week, the second group of Tier 1 in Linn County will be offered vaccine. This includes Early Childhood Education staff, school transportation staff, childcare centers with 10 or more staff, preK-5th grade building teachers and staff, and Grant Wood Area Education Agency staff working with preK-5th grade students. Due to limited supply of vaccine, it will take a few weeks to vaccinate this group. These individuals will be notified of how to make an appointment through their employer. Linn County Phase 1B employers are asked to complete Linn County Public Health’s Vaccine Registry Form for Employers if they have not already. Completing this form begins the process of prioritizing and matching Tier populations to a vaccine provider.
For all Linn County residents with a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, Linn County LIFTS is offering free next-day rides to individuals in need of transportation to scheduled and confirmed COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Requests for transportation must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to be a fluid situation. Linn County Public Health will provide updated information on COVID-19 vaccine at LinnCounty.org/Vaccine, through COVID-19 Status Updates, and on Facebook and Twitter. For questions on COVID-19 vaccine in Linn County, call 319-892-6097.