PRINCETON — COVID-19 vaccinations are increasing as cases are increasing again in Gibson County. Gibson County Health Department Nurse Administrator Diane Hornby said Tuesday that additional vaccination clinics are scheduled in the county, and she hopes people will take advantage of the opportunity.
The health department has a supply of 500 doses of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine available to administer at a vaccination clinic planned Saturday at the fairgrounds. The free vaccine is available by appointment.
“On top of that, we received 1,200 doses of the (two-dose) Moderna vaccine to do an extra clinic,” Hornby told Gibson County Commissioners Tuesday evening.
She said she’s working with the Gibson County Sheriff to offer vaccines to jail inmates, and has contacted several businesses to offer vaccine clinics. The health department plans a clinic offering 200 doses at Oakland City University. “We’re getting to a place where we’re going out to the public, to businesses. As long as they have around 20 people, we’ll come to them,” she reported.
The health department’s vaccination site at the fairgrounds is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.
Testing site hours at the fairgrounds are on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Hornby said testing numbers are decreasing in the county. “We gave 2,456 vaccines in March and we’ve got 480 vaccines booked (for Wednesday). We’ve got a lot of vaccine to give right now,” she said.
Some 6,814 Gibson Countians have received full vaccination, and 8,978 have received their first dose of vaccination, according to Indiana State Department of Health’s daily update to its COVID-19 database.
Gibson County remained at “yellow,” or low-to-moderate advisory status for community spread, but the case count has increased in recent weeks.
Seven new cases among 54 new tests, including one additional death were reported Wednesday, for a total 4,236 cases including 88 deaths among 14,538 people tested.
Gibson County’s rolling seven-day positivity rate was reported Wednesday at 7.2% for all tests and 22.4% for people tested for the first time.
Board of Commissioners President Warren Fleetwood told Hornby it’s important to make sure to remind people to continue to take precautions.
“We’re not at the threshhold where, if we throw everything away it’s going to be OK,” she reiterated. She said the case count dropped from 812 in January down to 144 in February, but increased to 197 in March. “Our average number of cases per day in January 2as 26, then in February it was five, then up to 6.4 cases a day in March, and as of April it is over six per day. It’s steadily climbing back up. We really need the public to get their vaccines, continue wearing your masks as much as possible, because we still have it (the virus) in our communities,” she said.
All Indiana residents age 16 and older are eligible for a free vaccination, by appointment only. To register for an appointment, visit ourshot.in.gov. People who need help making an appointment online can call 211, or visit local libraries or the Gibson County Council on Aging’s senior center in Princeton during local business hours.
Vaccination sites in Gibson County include Deaconess Gibson Hospital, the Gibson County Health Department’s clinic in the 4-H Building at the north side of the Gibson County Fairgrounds, at Williams Brothers, Walmart and Walgreens pharmacies in Princeton.
Hornby said the health department also provides vaccinations to eligible homebound residents of the county. “We’ve been trying to do that on our way home at the end of the day. There haven’t been a one of them, but we have had some. And, if they can get to the fairgrounds, we’ll even go out to their car.”
Deaconess Health System reported Wednesday it to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to local businesses, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana.
Deaconess is conducting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at TMMI this week with the goal of offering the vaccinations to eligible TMMI employees, and onsite suppliers who work at TMMI with badge access.
“Toyota Indiana is committed to providing a safe work environment. Working together with the state and Deaconess, the team has prepared for this day,” said plant president, Leah Curry. “The onsite COVID testing and vaccination clinic is another step to help protect the health of our employees.”
While the vaccine is not mandatory, TMMI employees are encouraged to consider receiving the vaccine.
“Vaccination is our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, to return to more normal lives and a stronger economy — locally, regionally and nationally,” said Dr. Brad Scheu, chief medical officer of Deaconess Clinic.
In the area, Knox County reports two new cases for a total 3,623 cases including 88 deaths among 14,269 people tested; Daviess County no new cases and one additional death for a total 2,877 cases including 99 deaths among 11,834 people tested; Pike County two new cases for a total 1,295 cases including 34 deaths among 5,109 people tested; Dubois County three new cases for a total 6,045 cases including 116 deaths among 19,966 people tested; Warrick County 11 new cases for a total 7,636 cases including 155 deaths among 31,762 people tested; Vanderburgh County 30 new cases and one additional death for a total 21,877 cases including 393 deaths among 97,433 people tested; and Posey County four new cases for a total 2,670 cases including 33 deaths among 10,448 people tested.