As vaccination schedules for COVID-19 progress, Clarke County Emergency Management and the Clarke County Public Health want to help reduce any confusion surrounding vaccine availability in Clarke County and who will be receiving it. So, starting Thursday, January 21st, Clarke County residents can sign up to receive the latest COVID-19 information. The most “up-to-date” information on COVID-19, including vaccination schedules, will be sent out in alerts from the departments using the Emergency Notification System (Alert Iowa). Registrants will receive these updates via text or voice calls, depending on each person’s preference.
“If the calls to the Public Health office are any indication,” said Byron Jimmerson, Coordinator for Clarke County Emergency Management. “The community is looking for real-time updates.”
With over a dozen calls made to the Clarke County Public Health in a matter of minutes, Jimmerson and the Public Health team decided the Alert Iowa solution would be the quickest way to send the community pertinent updates.
On Thursday, January 21st from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, the two departments will be manning a help line to assist those who may need guidance in getting signed up for the Alert Iowa program. Clarke County community members can call in to 641-342-3724 to speak to a volunteer who will walk them through the sign up process.
To sign up, Clarke County community members can access the sign up page directly at http://entry.inspironlogistics.com/clarke_ia/wens.cfm. For those who are more tech savvy, the QR Code accompanying this article can be used to access the page through a mobile device or tablet. Simply scan the code to launch your browser and start the process.
Once signed up with preferences selected, community members will receive updates for COVID-19, including vaccination scheduling and warnings. As an added value, users will also receive severe weather and emergency alerts through the system. Other options are available within the registration process.
As of January 18th, Clarke County was still in Phase 1a of the vaccination distribution process, meaning vaccine allocation is prioritized to those working in healthcare settings and those at highest risk, including residents and staff in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
The next phase, Phase 1b – tentatively set to start February 1st – will include those who are 75 years of age or older as well as other high-risk populations (e.g. – individuals with disabilities living in home settings, correctional facilities, other congregate settings, and meatpacking plant workers.)
For a current listing of Iowa’s vaccine stages and tentative time frames, you can go to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Web site at https://idph.iowa.gov/News