Supervisors concerned about lack of information

LAWRENCEVILLE – COVID-19 is impacting everyone’s life. The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors talked about the schedule for Brunswick County residents to receive the much-talked about vaccine at the January meeting.

County Administrator Charlette T. Woolridge, Ph.D. shared the latest information about the pandemic that was provided by the Virginia Department of Health.

The supervisors will hold a special called meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 with the Virginia Department of Health in order to assist county residents.

The supervisors will send a letter to Senator Frank Ruff, Senator L. Louise Lucas and Delegate Roslyn Tyler to share their concerns and ask for assistance.

On Jan. 20, 2021 Dr. Woolridge said as of Jan. 19, 2021 there were 225 active cases of COVID-19 in Brunswick County. A total of 943 Brunswick County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 44 were hospitalized and there were 8 deaths. Dr. Woolridge said as of Jan. 18, 507 had received the vaccine. The Southside Health District, at 969 Madison Street, Boydton, Virginia serves Brunswick County, Mecklenburg County and Halifax County. The phone number is (434) 738-6006.

Supervisor Welton Tyler said he is receiving calls from citizens asking when they can receive the vaccination. He said the website is confusing and stressed that many people in Brunswick County don’t have access to computers. Tyler said the toll free number is overloaded.

Supervisor John Zubrod agreed that the process to get the vaccine administered is problematic. He said there seems to be an adequate supply of the vaccine but how it will be administered, who will receive it and when has not been made clear to the public.

Supervisor Dr. Barbara Jarrett Harris, Chair, said she too is receiving calls from citizens frustrated with the process to administer the vaccine.

Dr. Woolridge said she understood their frustration but urged the public to be patient calling attention to the fact that this has never been done before and staffing is limited.

According to information provided by Dr. Woolridge, because the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is expected to be limited at first, the CDC’s recommendations are based on the recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts. The recommendations were made with these goals in mind: decrease death and serious disease as much as possible, preserve the functioning of society; reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities.

Healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities should be offered the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines and are classified as 1a. Groups 1b and 1c should be offered the vaccination next – CDC recommends in the next phases vaccination should be offered to people in the following groups: 1b – Frontline essential workers such as fire fighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, United States Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector (teachers, support staff, and daycare workers); people aged 75 years and older because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death form COVIC-19. People aged 75 years and older who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered the vaccination in Phase 1a. Dr. Woolridge said the time frame for this group is February.

Phase 1c – People aged 65-74 because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness and death from COVID-19. People aged 65-74 who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.

Other essential workers, such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.

As vaccine availability increases, vaccination recommendations will expand to include more groups. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-10 vaccination as son as large enough quantities of vaccine are available. As vaccine supply increases but remains limited, ACIP will expand the groups recommended for vaccination.