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Allen County Health Board Provides Update On COVID-19, Vaccination Efforts

Zach Bernard/WBOI News

The Allen County Board of Health held its quarterly meeting at Citizens Square Monday night, discussing data and strategies for continuing the fight against COVID-19.

Department of Health Administrator Mindy Waldron noted that as of Monday, 49.6 percent of eligible Allen County residents have been vaccinated. She added that in the 94 days the mass vaccination site was open at the Coliseum, over 42,000 individuals were given the shot.

But cases are very slowly curving back upward, ensuring Allen County will be back in the “yellow” -- the second safest designation -- for community spread Wednesday.

Waldron says vaccination efforts will continue, both at the current medical annex where appointments are being taken, while also using data to target specific zip codes.

“Particularly the 03 and the 06, so that’s where we have targeted this messaging, some of the state’s plans there, that sort of thing. And education; some foundations have also targeted resources.”

The department also updated the public on its budget: nearly $1 million has been spent on the COVID fight in the form of staffing, printing and miscellaneous costs, but nearly 80% of that has been recouped through federal grants and the American Rescue Plan.

John Henry Reich, an intern with the health department, also provided a presentation outlining trends and changes in drug poisonings and overdose deaths in Allen County since 2008.

Reich, in his proposed solutions for overdoses, also specified zip code data points as a means for outreach and potentially bringing those numbers down.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.