Miami County vaccination efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic continue to gain momentum and will likely see a big boost after this weekend when the county’s first full-day Saturday clinic opens up.
“Is this not fabulous,” County Health Officer Dr. Christi Redmon said Friday afternoon as she walked through the Riverview Event Center on Canal Street with event coordinator Holly Zorn. “It’s a big space.”
The two were making plans for the next day’s clinic which Redmon has predicted as many as 200 people will receive their first dose of the vaccine. (Residents need an appointment to receive the shot. Appointments for the shots can be made at the state-run website ourshot.in.gov or by calling the state’s 2-1-1 telephone assistance service.)
That will give quite a boost to county numbers which have been gradually improving over recent days and weeks.
As of Friday, state records showed that 3,164 county residents had received their first dose of a two-dose vaccine. That is exactly double the total count two weeks ago, on Jan. 29, when records showed 1,582 had been vaccinated. Friday’s number was up from 3,096 the day before and 2,898 on Tuesday.
As of Friday 782, county residents have been fully vaccinated, state numbers showed.
Redmon said there will likely be more acceleration in the numbers when the County Health Department moves its daily efforts from its offices on Court Street to the roomier venue of the old firehouse at the corner of Main and Miami streets. Not only will the larger building allow more patients to move through in a single day, residents who have volunteered to help mean that they will likely be able to expand hours.
“I think we will be able to add some time on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” she said.
The vaccine news comes as the number of daily new cases continues to decline.
Friday’s update from the Indiana State Department of Health showed that 3,494 residents had tested positive for COVID-19 since the state started tracking numbers nearly a year.
The number was up by nine from the previous day’s report.
The positivity rate for all tests administered – one of the measurements state officials use to gauge the amount of spread in a community – continues to trend down as well. Friday’s figure was 9.3percent.
Since March, 60 people in the county have died because of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Redmon said earlier this week, that the recent jump from 47 deaths to 59 was the result of a state effort to clean up official numbers
“It was an audit they did,” she said.
State officials disclosed the new state numbers at Gov. Eric Holcomb’s weekly news conference on Feb. 3.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said the 1,507 additional coronavirus-related deaths were tallied during an audit of death certificates and state health department reports. She blamed the undercount of deaths on the speed in which COVID-19 deaths had to be tracked.
“Never before have local and state departments of health had to present data in real time before it was fully vetted,” Box said.
Those revised figures boosted the peak of Indiana’s seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths to 102 in mid-December, rather than the previously reported peak average of 86 a day. Indiana had 20 straight days during December when that average topping 90 deaths, with the deadliest one-day total of 119 fatalities on Dec. 29.
The state’s some 1,900 coronavirus deaths in November and almost 3,000 in December were the state’s deadliest, dropping back down to about 1,900 during January.