As of 9 a.m on Thursday, March 4, 2021, Calhoun County has a cumulative total of 8,452 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD), with a total of 218 deaths attributed to the virus. This information is updated once daily, Monday through Friday, at www.calhouncountymi.gov. The state’s vaccine dashboard shows that 30,448 doses have been administered to Calhoun County residents, from various sources, not just the Public Health Department. COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION In Calhoun County, total shots administered by the Public Health Department are, 8,560 first dose and 6,790 second dose shots. Last week, between Feb. 21-27, the Public Health Department administered 2,881 vaccine doses. Currently our 65 and older vaccine waitlist stands at approximately 1,000 people.
School UpdateThe Calhoun County Public Health Department has now completed its second dose clinics at Athens and Battle Creek Public Schools, and will finish two more schools by the week’s end. The remaining school districts in Calhoun County are scheduled to be completed by March 19. The total of first round doses administered to school staff in Calhoun County is 1,845.
50+ Age GroupStarting on Monday, March 8, Calhoun County residents who are 50 years or older with a pre-existing condition or disability, as well as caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs, will be eligible to get vaccinated. Then, beginning March 22, vaccine eligibility will expand to include all Michiganders age 50 and older.
Residents who are 50 and older, with or without pre-existing conditions or disabilities, should wait until the Public Health Department launches an online registration system before signing up for the vaccine. This online registration will be available next week, and a press release will be issued with information on how to register. Visit the Calhoun County website for those updates as well, calhouncountymi.gov/covidvaccine. We ask for your patience as we work through this process.
Food Processing & Agricultural WorkersWithin the food and agriculture sector, workers who must work in close proximity to other people for extended periods of time are at high risk for COVID-19 exposure. In Michigan and across the country, there have been significant outbreaks particularly in meat processing facilities and in harvesting of some crops. Starting March 1, these workers are eligible for vaccination as part of Phase 1B. A form is available for organizations in this industry and should be completed by a person within the organization who can schedule COVID-19 vaccinations for the entire agency or organization in Calhoun County. Click here for the Phase 1B Essential Workers Form.
Vaccine EquityWorking with partners across Calhoun County, CCPHD is hosting micro, targeted vaccine clinics for minority and vulnerable communities ranging from Battle Creek to Albion. With community leaders and churches, NAACP, Urban League, VOCES, and local organizations that provide support to the Latina/Hispanic community, the CCPHD is able to ensure we’re including all of our residents.
On March 1, CCPHD submitted an application fora pilot program designed to enhance Michigan’s vaccine equity strategy. The goal of the pilot program is to help remove barriers to vaccine access for Michiganders 60 and older who live in communities with high Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) and high COVID-19 mortality rates. Applicants accepted into the community outreach pilot project can request up to 2,500 doses. If successful, CCPHD will focus on 10 vulnerable census tracts located in Battle Creek, Springfield, and Albion. This is an addition to our usual weekly allocation of the vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine in CalhounCalhoun County will receive about 1,300 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week. This vaccine requires only one shot, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and in the clinical trials, it was 100% successful in preventing COVID-19 related hospitalization or death.
The State of Michigan will receive a total 82,700 of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and it is easier for doctor offices and smaller settings to distribute, because it can be stored in regular refrigeration for up to three months.
CCPHD staff are finalizing plans for distributing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within our community.
With the addition of the Johnson & Johnson, CCPHD is distributing all three COVID-19 vaccines. For efficiency purposes, vaccine clinics operate with one vaccine type per clinic location. The Public Health Department’s Moderna vaccines are offered in partnership with Oaklawn Hospital.
More on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: The FDA determined the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, and about 85% effective against the most serious illness. Clinical trials showed protection against moderate to severe disease starts about two weeks after vaccination. These trials also included greater number of minority participants than the other vaccines, at 19. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a viral vector technology, which is different from messenger RNA that both Moderna and Pfizer use. Learn more about viral vector COVID-19 vaccines from the CDC. Keep up with Calhoun County vaccine efforts atcalhouncountymi.gov/covidvaccine
Updated MDHHS Orders Issued On March 2, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated two epidemic orders, allowing for increased capacity limits at various venues, larger residential and nonresidential gatherings, and expanded visitation at residential care facilities. Changes are designed to balance reopening while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and saving Michiganders’ lives. Although we are seeing progress in reduction of hospitalizations, it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as we reopen. See the latest press release from MDHHS or visit michigan.gov/coronavirus for more information. ***
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For updates from Calhoun County, about County operations and COVID-19 in Calhoun County, visit the County website, calhouncountymi.gov.
For updates from the City of Battle Creek, please visit battlecreekmi.gov/coronavirus.
The State’s COVID-19 Hotline is available for anyone who has questions or concerns related to the virus. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 1-888-535-6136. For state COVID-19 information, visit michigan.gov/coronavirus.For information, contact Lucy Blair, Calhoun County Communications Manager269-781-0926, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor Jovanovich, Public Health Department Communications Specialist269-969-6341, email@example.com
Jessica Vanderkolk, City of Battle Creek Communications Manager269-966-3378, firstname.lastname@example.org