While Utah is still in Phase 1 of administering COVID-19 vaccines, many areas in the state are getting ready for larger vaccine distribution. And Wasatch County is no exception.
The county health department has reported over 600 healthcare workers in the county have already been vaccinated. Jonelle Fitzgerald with the county health department said they’ve already set up tents for drive-thru vaccine distribution at the Wasatch County Events Complex.
She said the county is getting about 200 doses a week, which - for now - are all going to caregivers.
"But we’re working and ramping up to anticipate and hope for more doses each week," Fitzgerald said. "Right now we still are only able to vaccinate non-hospital healthcare and first responders. So we're still at that stage...hoping to move to be able to vaccinate K-12 staff and older residents very soon. So we're just waiting on the governor's office to say, 'Yes, we have enough vaccine, let's open vaccination opportunity for these other folks.'"
She said once the state enters Phase 2 of vaccine distribution, they expect to see a larger volume of people turning up at the center.
"We have given vaccine at the health department. So when just smaller groups of just health care providers or clinics that needs to be vaccinated, one or two can come in here," she said. "But when we need to give the vaccine to the bigger amounts of people, it'll happen down at the drive thru so that they can move fast."
She said they’re prepared to vaccinate over 100 people in a four hour span.
In the meantime, she said they are using the site for rapid testing, which the state offered for free earlier this week.
"After they found out how much response there was and need for the testing, they were really busy on Monday and Tuesday, and so decided to extend their hours here Wednesday and Thursdays," she said.
After a spike in cases early last month, Fitzgerald said numbers are starting to head on a downward trend. However, the county has hovered around a 30% positivity rate for weeks now. She said with the increase in testing, she hopes to get a better gauge on how widespread COVID-19 is in the community.
Free rapid testing will be available through next week at the Wasatch County Event Center.