1-19 COVID-19 Update: Brooklyn Center Among Nine Community Vaccination Sites, Seniors Wait for Hours to Register
1-19-2021 COVID-19 Update from Minnesota Department of Health
The Minnesota Department of Health holds a press briefing Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. to provide the latest public health information regarding COVID-19.
You can watch the full briefing here.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- Globally, 95.8 million cases since start of pandemic (adding 500,000 cases each day); 2.05 million deaths
- In U.S, 24.1 million cases since pandemic began (added 141,000 cases Monday); 399,000 deaths
- In Minnesota, 448,268 total cases (up 922 over prior day)
- Of the 448,268 cases, 431,096 (96%) no longer need isolation
- In Minnesota, 5,945 total deaths (up 6)
- Of the 6 newly reported deaths, 4 were residents of long-term care/assisted living
- 7-day case positivity rate now at 5.4% (down from 7.5% last week)
- 238,935 vaccine doses administered (about 38,000 of these are someone’s second dose)
- Hospital bed use for COVID-19 lowest since end of October.
Scheduling Appointments for COVID-19 Community Vaccination Clinics
MDH Director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Kris Ehresmann:
- Minnesotans 65 and older can schedule appointments for COVID-19 community vaccine clinics starting today at noon.
- The pilot clinics are located in Andover, Brooklyn Center, Fergus Falls, Mountain Iron, Thief River Falls, St. Cloud, North Mankato, Rochester and Marshall.
- The clinics will initially serve adults age 65 and older, as well as prekindergarten through grade 12 educators, staff, and child care workers.
- Because this is a limited pilot program, vaccine demand is certain to outpace available doses at this time, and there will be a limited number of appointments available.
- “Every shot in the arm is another step toward ending this pandemic and these clinics will help us meet the goal of getting millions of Minnesotans vaccinated as quickly and as safely as possible,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said in a statement to CCX News.
- In addition to the pilot clinics, Minnesota health care systems are providing limited vaccine doses to patients 65 years of age and older.
- Health care providers are developing systems to let their existing patients know when they can make an appointment for a vaccine. Providers will contact patients with this information – Minnesotans should not contact their health care providers directly right now.
- Minnesotans age 65 and older can make appointments by visiting mn.gov/vaccine or by calling 612-426-7230 or toll free, 1-833-431-2053.
- Minnesotans should attempt to make an appointment online before dialing the call center. Minnesotans who cannot immediately make an appointment may be able to sign up for a waitlist.
- Available appointments will refresh every Tuesday at noon. Minnesotans will have the opportunity to schedule appointments for both their first and second doses of vaccine.
- Educators and child care providers, with few exceptions, will work directly with their employer to receive instructions on how to secure a vaccination appointment and should not try to s chedule an appointment unless their employer has contacted them with information about their appointment.
- Appointments are required to receive a shot. Minnesotans without an appointment should not visit a community vaccination pilot site. No walk-ins will be accepted, and anyone with the intention of walking in for an appointment will be asked to leave and given information on how to sign up for an appointment.
- Those on the waitlist will be notified if they should visit a vaccination pilot site for their shot. Minnesotans who are waitlisted but do not receive their vaccine one week will need to sign up again the following week.
Commissioner of Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) Tarek Tomes:
- 6,100 appointments have been processed as of 2 p.m.
- Tomes says his department will apply what it learns today to future appointment registrations
Q&A Session and Notes:
- 12,000 doses of vaccine allotted for the nine community vaccination sites. Vaccinations will take place at these sites one day a week.
- Doses split 50/50 among seniors and teachers
- Some seniors have waited for more than two hours (and continued to wait) Tuesday for the opening slots. Tomes said to keep waiting (as of 2:15 p.m. Tuesday), and understands it’s frustrating to wait that long.
- “Absolutely not,” said Tomes, when asked if this will be a regular occurrence every Tuesday on the system crashing.
- Reports of system crashing (black circle spinning for hours). “Those frustrations are really understandable,” said Tomes. He says people will receive a confirmation email or text if appointment goes through.
- Name of the vendor is Primary Bio that set up the registration on the MDH site.
- “They’ve been a terrific partner,” said Tomes of Primary Bio. Plans to continue using them.
- “Today’s volume is really, really significantly higher than expected,” said Tomes.
- Ehresmann: “The challenges we’re facing today are good challenges.” “I think this a result of pent-up demand,” she said.
- 918,000 Minnesotans are 65 and older
- “We all apologize for the frustrations,” said Malcolm.