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Health Department schedules first vaccination event for those 65 and older

SALISBURY — People 65 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine during the Rowan County Health Department’s drive-thru clinic on Wednesday.

The vaccination clinic will start at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of West End Plaza, 1935 Jake Alexander Boulevard West, with people asked not to arrive before 6 a.m. Those arriving before 6 a.m. will be asked to leave, a news release says. The first-come, first-served event will continue until 3:30 p.m. or as long as the vaccine supply allows.

Anyone who is a health care worker fighting COVID-19, a long-term care staff member or resident, or is 65 or older can receive a vaccine Wednesday. Previously, the age range was 75 years and older.

To check eligibility, people will be asked to verify their age, answer a few questions on paper or a tablet, complete a vaccination form and provide insurance cards, if applicable. It’s free to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but the Health Department is filing with insurance to compensate for administrative costs.

Because of a limited supply of vaccines, the county is using a ticketing system to ensure everyone waiting knows whether or not they will receive a vaccine. Those beyond the cutoff will be asked to come back another day.

“Rowan County Public Health’s No. 1 priority is to ensure that all Rowan County citizens that want a vaccine can receive it, while also balancing vaccine supply and abiding by the phased approach provided to us by NCDHHS,” the county said in a news release.

Traffic for the vaccination event should enter West End Plaza from the intersection of Statesville Boulevard and Admiral Drive, which is directly in front of a Food Lion shopping center. A news release says traffic must enter the parking lot coming eastbound (toward Salisbury) on Statesville Boulevard. People traveling west (away from Salisbury) will need to make a U-turn after passing West End Plaza.

City and county personnel will be at the entrance of the parking lot to direct traffic.

County officials recommend that people bring something to occupy their time while waiting, make sure they have enough gas in their car and use the bathroom in advance.

As of Tuesday, 3,164 people who live in Rowan County have received the first shot in their two-vaccination series and 224 have received the second shot, which is lower than all neighboring counties except for Davie and Stanly.

Neighboring county vaccinations are as follows:

• Cabarrus: 6,110 received first dose; 773 completed vaccine series.

• Iredell: 5,617 received first dose; 649 completed vaccine series.

• Davidson: 5,707 received first dose; 552 completed vaccine series.

• Stanly: 988 received first dose; 84 completed vaccine series.

• Davie: 2,837 received first dose; 280 completed vaccine series.

As the number of people who have been vaccinated increase slowly, the number of COVID-19 infections is still rising, too. On Tuesday, the county topped 11,000 positives since the start of the pandemic and 2,200 since the beginning of 2021.

There were 78 new COVID-19 positives and no other major changes Tuesday, according to local statistics. Four of those cases were in congregate living facilities. The state says Rowan County’s positive test percentages has been falling in recent days and currently sits at 17.9% for the previous two weeks.

There were 4,058 new COVID-19 cases reported statewide on Tuesday, more than 10,000 since Monday and 3,881 people hospitalized. There have been 684,497 total positives in North Carolina during the pandemic and 8,139 deaths.

People with questions about COVID-19 in Rowan County can contact the Rowan Health Department’s hotline at 980-432-1800 or covid-19@rowancountync.gov.



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