Yavapai County health officials: COVID-19 vaccine available to adults 18 and older starting March 29
Gov. Ducey announces updates to state COVID-19 measures
Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) announced that appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine are being opened to all county residents ages 18 and older beginning Monday, March 29, according to a news release Thursday afternoon.
YCCHS Director Leslie Horton, Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Chairman Craig Brown and in collaboration with Spectrum Healthcare, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) and Northern Arizona Healthcare, felt now is the right time.
“If you are 55 (and older) or are have a high-risk medical condition and need a vaccine, there are plenty of appointments available now before we open the flood gates on Monday,” YCCHS spokesperson Terri Farneti said in a statement.
Operating with the Moderna vaccine, both Spectrum Healthcare and YRMC points of distribution (PODS) at Gateway Mall in Prescott and the Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley have appointments for this coming weekend still available, according to the release.
“Spectrum has opened their clinic in Camp Verde with the Moderna vaccine for appointments, and their rural clinics offering Johnson & Johnson single-dose appointments available in Wilhoit, Yarnell, Jerome, Seligman and Rimrock,” Farneti said in a statement. “Pharmacies seem to be receiving a more regular supply of vaccine, as well.”
To make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, visit yavapai.us/chs/home/covid-19/vaccine. The Yavapai County phone bank is fully staffed to answer questions or assist people without computers or internet, so call 928-442-5103.
Call the YRMC COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 928-708-4556 to schedule an appointment. The hotline is staffed between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
With the state of Arizona hitting several important public health benchmarks, alongside the state hitting three million vaccine doses administered, Gov. Doug Ducey announced several updates to the state’s COVID-19 measures, including on events, businesses and local ordinances, according to a news release from the governor’s office Thursday, March 25.
“As we’ve said all along, distribution of the vaccine is our best path to getting back to normal, and I want to thank the millions of Arizonans who have rolled up their sleeves to make the distribution and uptake so successful,” Ducey said in a statement Thursday.
Several key data points contributed to these changes:
-3,041,773 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to 1,927,278 individuals in Arizona, including 1,185,986 who have been fully vaccinated.
-10 weeks of declining COVID-19 cases.
-Hospitalizations at the lowest level since the end of September/beginning of October.
-Opening of vaccine appointments to all Arizonans 16 years of age and older.
-A recent evaluation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that ranks Arizona among the best states in the nation for getting the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable communities.
-President Joe Biden’s recent promise that every American will be able to be vaccinated by May 1.
Here are a few changes announced by Gov. Ducey on Thursday:
-Events of more than 50 people will no longer need the approval of local governments. These events should continue to follow safe practices and CDC recommendations, including physical distancing. This includes youth sports.
-The business guidance will transition from requirements to recommendations. Gov. Ducey is providing businesses with the ability to continue requiring masks and social distancing.
-Bars have already been allowed to operate as “dine-in” at full capacity. They will now be allowed to resume regular operations, with the ability to require social distancing and masks.
“Mask usage is still encouraged, especially in groups that are not vaccinated,” the release stated.
“In Arizona, we never did a shutdown, so it’s impossible to have a grand reopening. Instead, we are continuing to take reasonable, safe and sensible steps,” Ducey said in a statement. “The measures put in place last summer allowed Arizona to fight back COVID-19. I want to thank the local leaders who supported these efforts with their own measures, and the businesses who implemented them. Today, we are in a different spot, and we are also a lot smarter. I’m confident Arizona’s businesses and citizens will continue to practice the fundamentals and act responsibly as we gradually get back to normal."
YAVAPAI COUNTY NUMBERS
Yavapai County reported two new COVID-19 cases, according to a YCCHS news release.
Since last March, the county has tested 107,008 residents for COVID-19 with 18,291 positive cases, 6,838 recovered and 487 deaths. One death reported was found to be from another county.
Close to 108,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the Yavapai County, or 27.6% of the population, with 45,000 fully vaccinated.
YRMC in Prescott and Prescott Valley is caring for five COVID-19 patients, while the Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood reports two COVID-19 patients. The Prescott VA reported no COVID patients Thursday.
Beginning Friday, March 26, Dignity Health-YRMC will expand visitation at its hospital locations.
Patients hospitalized in non-COVID-19 units may have two visitors daily. Visitors must be 18 years of age and older. Patients arriving for a scheduled procedure or for emergency care may have one visitor over the age of 18 accompany them.
Visitation is allowed between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday. For more details, please visit yrmc.org or call 928-445-2700.
“As visitation continues to open across the Dignity Health-YRMC network, please note that masks continue to be a requirement for entry to any YRMC facility as per CDC guidance. Proof of vaccination does not alleviate the requirement for a mask to enter a YRMC facility,” a news release stated.