Coryell Health opens online COVID-19 vaccine registration site
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Wednesday, Coryell Health in Gatesville announced that it had been named one of the statewide vaccination hubs for the COVID-19 vaccine, which is now in six weeks of distribution to healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and healthcare providers throughout the state of Texas.
This week, Coryell Health Medical Clinic received 975 doses of the vaccine, but they are all spoken for.
A vaccination clinic will be held on Saturday, Jan. 23 at the Gatesville Civic Center. All appointments have already been filled for the vaccination clinic. Coryell Health has advised that they do not have a waiting list for the vaccine, but individuals wishing to receive it should visit https://coryellhealth.org/services/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine-availabilit... for more information.
Appointments for the vaccine may only be made online at https://app.blockitnow.com/consumer/coryell-health .
According to Coryell Health’s website, “The link will remain the same for all vaccine events and can be checked as frequently as you would like. Appointments will be opened up as we receive vaccine.”
As of Friday morning, that site was not open for vaccine reigstrations. Residents are urged to continue checking to see when it reopens.
Coryell Health also has an email set up at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The vaccines are for individuals who fall into the Phase 1a or Phase 1b distribution, and not the general public at this point.
Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Harrell said the plan for this week is to administer the doses received.
“Right now it looks like the Gatesville Civic Center will be probably where the vast majority of Copperas Cove residents will be getting (the vaccine), unless I can get something set up in Copperas Cove,” Harrell said, noting that he would need to be in touch with the city’s Emergency Management Coordinator, Deputy Fire Chief Gary Young, where a vaccination site in Copperas Cove is concerned.
“Here’s our issue right now. We only have three (vaccine) providers (in Coryell County), two of them are H-E-B, and one is Coryell Health,” Harrell said on Wednesday. “Even the standalone pharmacies that originally registered to receive the vaccines, have not received them, and they probably will not receive them until we receive for the general population.”
Harrell stated that pharmacist Jim Shave’s office has forwarded the vaccine list he has up to Coryell.
Harrell also said he is trying to make sure that they can get as many Copperas Cove residents vaccinated as possible, if they’re willing to drive up to Gatesville for now. He did note that Killeen’s vaccination centers were still accessible for Copperas Cove residents.
“You can jump the county line, so there’s no problem there,” Harrell said, remaining optimistic and joking that his goal in the next three months is to have Coryell County “swimming” in vaccine. “Hopefully Johnson & Johnson will be coming online soon, that’s a single dose and that will be wonderful. If we get more vaccines for next week, that will really help us out a lot.”
Phase 1a of the vaccine distribution is for front-line healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The next phase, Phase 1b, includes individuals age 65 or older, or individuals over age 16 with at least one of the following conditions: cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), those with prior organ transplants, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, obesity, or type 2 diabetes. Phase 1b also includes teachers and school staff; social services workers; and “workers who maintain critical infrastructure to support the Texas economy; and other front-line workers who are unable to work remotely and so are more likely to be exposed,” according to Texas DSHS’s phased distribution plan.
Neighboring Bell County also has two “hubs” for vaccine distribution, located at the Killeen Community Center, at 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd., and in Temple, at the Sammons Community Center, at 2220 West Avenue D. The centers are by appointment only.
A phone bank for Bell County information can be reached at 254-933-5203, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments for a vaccine can be made online at www.bellcountyhealth.org and clicking on “Make a Vaccine Appointment Here.” As of press time Thursday, however, Bell County still had vaccine scheduling paused.
Local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations
Meanwhile this week, cases in Coryell County have risen by 145, between Jan. 14 and Jan. 20, with cumulative cases numbering 2,546. Of that number, 561 cases are considered active cases. Fatalities in Coryell County now number 23.
Monday’s update from the City of Copperas Cove included a total of 1,464 cases, of which 381 were still considered active.
For the Copperas Cove Independent School District, there were 36 active cases among the district’s students and staff as of Wednesday, Jan. 20. Of those 36 cases, 10 are students at Copperas Cove High School. Between July 27 and Jan. 10, there have been a total of 161 students and 99 staff in the district with test-confirmed COVID-19, out of a total of districtwide enrolment of 8,083, with 4,383 students attending on-campus classes. This is as of Jan 12, per the weekly report which school districts submit to the Texas Education Agency.
Hospitalizations statewide were 13,870 as of Wednesday, with local hospitalizations for COVID-19 numbering 205 out of a total 1,069 hospitalized patients, which is 19.18 percent of local hospitalizations. Local hospitalizations have remained above the 15 percent mark since Dec. 29.
COVID-19 cases in Central Texas*
Bell County 2,475 active cases (17,042 total)
Burnet County 226 active cases (2,036 total)
Coryell County 561 active cases (2,546 total)
Copperas Cove (city) 381 active cases (1,464 total)
Lampasas County 117 active cases (1,296 total)
McLennan County 1,087 active cases (22,373 total)
Williamson County 1,999 active cases (28,116 total)
*Numbers from Texas DSHS, Coryell County, Lampasas County; Bell, McLennan, and Williamson County Public Health Districts.