Retired Volunteers, County Workers Answering Phones, Scheduling Appts. At Health Department

REBECCA HAZEN/Dade County Sentinel
Tori Williams and Randy Forester answer phones at the Dade County Department of Health. There are now volunteers and extra county workers helping to answer the phones and schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

By REBECCA HAZEN
News Editor

The Dade County Board of Commissioners has added additional workers to help the Dade County Health Department answer phones in regards to COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

According to Public Information Officer Carey Anderson, there is a rotation of volunteers and workers helping out. Between them, there is an additional four to five people in the Health Department.

These people have not been added to payroll. The workers that are taking telephone calls are either on loan from other departments within the county, or they are volunteers who have retired from the Health Department.

Even though the County Commissioners and the Health Department are in the same building, it is important to remember that those who work at the Health Department work for the state, Anderson said.

“When the Board of Commissioners offered help to the Health Department, they accepted that help,” Anderson said.

Local churches in Trenton are starting a meal train, to provide meals to the Health Department workers, as a way to say thank you for their hard work. This also helps with the workload, so the workers do not have to leave in the middle of the day to get lunch.

Meals are being coordinated by Diane Rumley and are being provided by: Rising Fawn United Methodist, Trenton Ministry Center, Trenton United Methodist Church, Rising Fawn Baptist Church, New Salem Baptist and Trenton First Baptist Church.

Hunter Salvage Grocery and Rising Fawn United Methodist also provided snack baskets.

People in Dade County are receiving the Moderna vaccine. The second dose of this vaccine is to be given at a minimum of 28 days apart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the second dose can be scheduled up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose.

According to Anderson, in the past week alone, the Dade County branch of the Georgia Department of Health gave out nearly 800 rounds of the vaccine. This is in addition to their regular workload. Second doses of the vaccine are scheduled to be given out starting Friday, Jan. 29.

Do not call the Health Department to make an appointment for the second dose of the vaccine. The Health Department will call people for their second dose. Call (706) 657-4213 to make an appointment.

“If you get a chance to schedule an appointment, that confirms that you will in fact receive the vaccine,” Anderson said. “The vaccine comes in and the nurse manager counts the doses. Then a block of appointments that will exactly match that dosage number will open. Then those appointment blocks are filled.”

This means that it is important to try your best to keep your appointment time.

“Today we had two people cancel appointments. We had to scramble to fill those appointments. If we had not filled those, that would have been two doses wasted,” Anderson said.

There are four basic questions to ask yourself before getting an appointment. Are you 65 or older, and are you a resident of the state of Georgia? Both of those answers have to be yes. Have you had COVID-19 in the past 90 days or a vaccine in the past 14 days? If the answer to these questions is no, then you are eligible for the vaccine.

Dade County has seen 67 cases in the past two weeks, for a total of 957 COVID-19 cases. The number of cases can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.

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