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COVID-19 vaccinations resume in Estill Co. after pause due to flooding

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 4:16 PM EST
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ESTILL CO., Ky. (WKYT) - With flood waters down and rivers back to almost normal levels, Estill County is on to the recovery phase of flood relief.

“Get out all the wet carpet, furniture, you know pull out drywall, all of that stuff,” said Melissa Riddle, the Estill County Emergency Management public information officer.

Riddle says help has arrived. This includes laundry units where anyone in Estill or Lee counties can bring items to be washed.

“The help is here and I know people around here don’t want to reach out for help, but reach out we’re here,” Riddle said.

This move from the response phase to the recovery phase is also allowing COVID-19 vaccines to pick back up after all clinics were closed during the flood.

“We are playing catch up. Three clinics in one week is a lot for our small staff, but we are happy to make that happen,” says public health director Elizabeth Walling.

Usually, around 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine are administered each week. Now, Walling says the goal is 250 doses in the next two days.

This isn’t the first time vaccines have been held up in the county. Walling says two other weeks clinics were closed. One of them due to the ice storm, the other when the department didn’t receive the vaccine shipments.

This is all as walling says the flooding could be affect case numbers in general. Initially, Walling says they’ve been seeing case numbers go down, as people have not been gathering. After relief efforts, which she says have of course been needed, they are expecting a potential spike within the next couple of weeks.

Walling says the health department is working tirelessly to ensure 90% of vaccine shipments will be going to the community.

“We are doubling up on all of the work we’re doing this week because we were not able to offer vaccines last week, so we’re trying our best once we get shipments in of the vaccine we want that out the door and in peoples arms as quickly as possible,” Walling says.

According to the health department around 29,000 doses have been administered, which is around 21% of the population.

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