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Residents urged to stay alert for vaccination calls

ELKINS — After seeing the active coronavirus case numbers in Randolph County drop to 11 last week, several clusters within the community pushed that number back up to 22 as of Monday.

“We had some clusters and we have some school kids in quarantine, but it does not seem to be being passed in the school itself,” Bonnie Woodrum, the Randolph Elkins Health Department’s infectious disease specialist, said during Monday’s Randolph County Office of Emergency Management COVID-19 update conference call. “So we are not closing schools or calling it an outbreak. It’s community acquired and not being spread in the school.

“And we also have a small business in town that it seems has spread within the business. And they have received quarantine guidelines from us and we think it’s under control.

Local health officials are reminding residents to continue to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines and also to answer any phone calls they may receive as COVID-19 vaccine appointments are being made.

People need to continue to wear a mask and socially distance when possible, Woodrum said. Even those who have had all of their vaccine shots need to take all the necessary precautions.

“People who have been fully vaccinated can visit and be with other groups of people who have also been vaccinated,” she said. “But if they’re around people who are unvaccinated, they should wear their mask and keep their distance.”

There has been one case in Randolph County where a fully vaccinated person later tested positive for COVID-19, she said. The individual was asked to quarantine just the same as people who have not been vaccinated. She noted that none of the coronavirus variants have been discovered in the county to date.

“We have not had any variants identified in Randolph County yet,” Woodrum said. “The vaccines we use have shown that they are 95 percent or more effective at stopping serious illness or death. But they do not claim to keep people from being infected with COVID. So use good sense and still take precautions.”

Woodrum also said citizens have been missing calls or not answering their phones when calls are made to schedule vaccination appointments. She emphasized that it is extremely important for people to answer their phones on Tuesdays because that’s the day when the scheduling calls are made.

“If people are registered on Everbridge, we are encouraging them to answer their phones on Tuesday” said Woodrum. “We make the calls each Tuesday from around 8 am. to 3 p.m. to try and fill our appointments.

“The (phone) number might be unfamiliar, but if they are registered they should answer their phone. We have been getting a lot of calls that are not being answered and then people think they have not been called.

“They are using the Everbridge list to call for appointments and now it’s for citizens 50 and older,” she said.

This week’s mass vaccination clinic at the Phil Gainer Community Center will be Thursday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. All of the vaccinations continue to be by appointment only.

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