Chisago County Public Health is working diligently on planning and administering the COVID-19 vaccine in a phased approach set forth by the Federal Government and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Currently, Chisago County Officials are not accepting calls from the general public to schedule vaccine appointments at this time. Chisago County Public Health is working with employers within the identified phased vaccination groups on vaccine distribution. They will continue to work through the defined phased priority groups (as defined by MDH) with the vaccine doses that they are allotted until they are able to vaccinate the broader community who were not included in the initial vaccination phases. Priority groups do not need to contact Public Health to receive the vaccine, Public Health will contact these groups directly.
Priority groups are vaccinated by either a local health care facility or our Local Public Health Department. At this time the groups that Local Public Health are responsible for in Phase 1a (First and Second Priority) have completed their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or have been contacted to be vaccinated in the near future. Public Health is moving on to Phase 1a Third Priority Group at this time. Phase 1a and 1b Priority Groups and the vaccine providers are listed below.
Phase 1a includes:
All remaining Health Care Personnel (HCP) not included in the First and Second Priority Groups that are unable to telework. This includes, but is not limited to: HCP that work in hospitals, ambulatory and outpatient settings, home health settings, emergency shelters, Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF), dental offices, pharmacies, public health clinics, mental/behavioral health settings, correctional settings, and group homes. (Administered by both Local Public Health and Local Health Care Facility).
Phase 1b includes:
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Governor have concluded that health care systems and other vaccination partners, to include local public health, that they can provide vaccines to broader categories of Minnesotans - including Minnesotans 65 years of age and older, K-12 educators, and Childcare Providers as soon as possible. (Administered by both Local Public Health and Local Health Care Facility). However, Public Health can only vaccinate these groups as quickly as the vaccine gets distributed to us. We have been receiving only 100-200 doses a week over the last month. At that pace it will be quite some time before we are able to cover the next priority groups. At this time, Public Health is not taking appointments for those in Phase 1b, but a new pilot program allows certain Minnesota residents an opportunity, that meet the criteria below, to be vaccinated at nine different sites across the state.
Minnesota is piloting a Community COVID-19 Vaccine Program, partnering with local public health and school districts, to place nine pilot sites across the state. These pilot sites will initially serve:
- Adults 65 years of age or older;
- Prekindergarten through grade 12 educators and school staff at public school districts, charter schools, tribal schools and nonpublic school organizations;
- Staff working in licenses and certified child care programs.
The State of Minnesota and Local Public Health (LPH) continues to vaccinate the health care workers and assisted living residents and staff in Phase 1a and is on track to having provided at least one shot to all 500,000 Minnesotans in that group before the end of the month.
Appointments are now available at all nine pilot sites, located in the following communities: Andover, Brooklyn Center, Fergus Falls, Marshall, Mountain Iron, North Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud, and Thief River Falls. You can make an appointment by visiting State of Minnesota Website - Find Vaccine, or by calling 612-426-7230 or by calling toll free at 833-431-2053. (NOTE: Educators and child care workers must schedule online, not by phone.)
Please be patient and remember that until the federal government provides more vaccine, there will not be enough doses for all wo want one. More opportunities for vaccination will be coming as the state gets more vaccine. In the meantime, please continue to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbors by wearing a mask, washing your hands, maintaining social distance, and staying home when you feel sick.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccine and distribution, please visit the local and statewide resources below (information is fluid and is subject to change):
LINK to Chisago County Public Health Facebook Page
LINK to Minnesota State COVID-19 Response Website
LINK to Minnesota Department of Health Website