PLATTSBURGH — Beginning next week, the Clinton County Health Department will shift its primary COVID-19 vaccine point of distribution (POD) to the Clinton Community College Forrence Center gymnasium.

The agency has been utilizing the Plattsburgh State Field House, but that college will soon start its spring sports competitions, which are hosted at the complex.

'ALL GOOD THINGS'

During the county legislature's regular meeting Wednesday, CCHD Director of Public Health John Kanoza credited Sheriff David Favro, who chairs the CCC Board of Trustees, as well as CCC President Ray DiPasquale for helping in a time of need.

"It presents all good things for us, including being on the bus line and also we will not have to take down and re-set up our POD tables and chairs," he explained.

Clinton County Office of Emergency Services Director Eric Day added that DiPasquale has offered "anything and everything."     

"The Field House is a good location, it's easily accessible, maybe a little bit more so than the community college," he continued. "However, it's setting up at night, tearing down the next night so that the track team can practice or they can put the nets down for the batting cage.

"It’s a challenge, so we’re looking forward to moving up there (CCC) by the end of the week, first part of next week."

CCHD Senior Public Health Educator Molly Flynn said PODs are not scheduled until vaccine allotments come in, and that strict requirements for who CCHD can vaccinate remain in place.

'CATCH-UP WEEK'

Due to last week's winter weather, CCHD did not receive any vaccines intended for first-dose use, but did get 100 second doses that were administered Feb. 19.

On Tuesday, an additional 106 second doses were performed at the Clinton County Sheriff's Office, primarily law enforcement personnel, Kanoza said.

This week, CCHD received a total of 600 first doses — 300 for this week and 300 for last week.

"This is our catch-up week," Kanoza said.

Of those 600, 500 were to be administered at the Field House Thursday, and 100 were saved for vaccinating remaining state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and state Office of Addiction Services and Supports clients across the county next week.

Today, more second doses will be administered.

NEW RESIDENTS

Though CVS and Walgreens went to local nursing homes and assisted living facilities to administer vaccinations, Kanoza said, new residents continue to move in.

During a recent conference call, Larry Schwartz — a former secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo who has been tasked with running the state's vaccine distribution program — informed local health departments across the state that they will be provided with additional doses for these residents.

"We can be the repository for those extra doses each of these nursing homes — Meadowbrook, Clinton County Nursing Home, you name it — will need on an ongoing basis to vaccinate their new residents at their facility," Kanoza said.

He advised elderly people looking for help to register for vaccines to contact the Clinton County Office for the Aging. According to a post on the agency's Facebook page, assistance is available for people age 65 and older by calling 518-565-4620 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

EXTRAS GET USED

The state-run vaccination clinic at 213 Connecticut Rd. continues to push for 500 new first doses each day, generally reaching about 470, Day said.

"They are also doing about the same number of second doses so they’re nearing 1,000 a day as planned and predicted."

Day explained that, at the end of each day, due to tracking and control of thawing and drawing out of vaccine, the site typically has no more than one or two doses left over, which do get used.

"I continue to keep a list for them and they’ll call over — if they don’t have staff of their own that haven’t been vaccinated yet — ... and say I need one, I need two (people)."

CLINTON CORRECTIONAL

The number of COVID-positive inmates at Clinton Correctional Facility is improving, Kanoza said. He estimated that, last week, there were about 100 asymptomatic, but positive, inmates, and around 10 who were symptomatic.

"You see the difference? Most of your patients who are positive don’t show any symptoms, always remember that."

As of Wednesday, Kanoza said, the prison had 27 asymptomatic and four symptomatic inmates.

"That’s a big improvement for Clinton Correctional Facility and of course that is directly related to our correction officers up there."

Day added that the state started vaccinating inmates who are 65 and older at the Clinton Annex earlier this week. Kanoza said it was not a moment too soon.

"They've got to move on that. It's a good time that they do that now."

OTHER VACCINE CLINICS

Essex County Health Department and Franklin County Public Health promoted registration links for COVID-19 vaccine clinics being offered to New York State residents age 65 and older at Hudson Headwaters Health Network locations.

As of Thursday evening, appointments remained available at the Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Plattsburgh and Champlain family health clinics.

The links are available on the health departments' Facebook pages. You do not need to be a current Hudson Headwaters patient in order to register.

Email Cara Chapman:

cchapman@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @PPR_carachapman

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