The next age group in Vermont eligible for coronavirus vaccinations - people 70 and older -may start registering for required vaccine appointments next week, state officials announced Friday.
Appointments can be made starting at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday on the Health Department‘s website, which is encouraged, or by calling 855-722-7878, said Human Services Secretary Mike Smith at the governor’s twice-weekly virus briefing. The vaccine center is open seven days a week, from 8:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.
“We would urge you to use the online registration system … while recognizing that some may prefer calling,” he said.
Those seeking appointments should pick a vaccine site closest to their home, Smith said. While the registration period doesn’t open until next week, people who plan to register online can create an account online ahead of time, he said.
Vermonters aged 75 and older may still register for vaccine appointments, Smith said. So far, 38% of them and 538 homebound Vermonters have received their first dose of the vaccine, he said.
Walgreens is participating in the federal pharmacy vaccines and will receive doses above the state allotment, Smith said. The retailer was starting vaccine clinics for Vermonters 75 and older on Friday and on Tuesday will schedule appointments for Vermonters ages 75 and up, he said.
People can register for appointments through the Walgreens link on the Health Department website or on the Walgreens website.
In other pandemic-related news:
Thirteen inmates and three staffers at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans have tested positive for COVID-19, the Vermont Department of Corrections said Friday.
One staff member at the state prison in Springfield and one at Burlington Probation and Parole also have been infected, the department said.
The St. Albans prison was locked down because of an outbreak Jan. 28 and will continue to be locked down after testing this week resulted in the new cases, officials said.
The outbreak appears to be contained to two units at the prison, officials said. Contract tracing is continuing and those who tested positive are being placed in medical quarantine, the department said.
Vermont school and recreational youth sports teams may start playing games again.
The competitions were allowed to resume Friday, but spectators are not allowed.
The sports include basketball, hockey, volleyball, indoor soccer and football, and broom ball. Officials say indoor teams that involve close proximity or moderate contact will be restricted to two games per seven days and a minimum of three days between competitions.
Players, staffers, referees and officials must wear masks.
Vermont reported 160 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, for a statewide total since the pandemic began of more than 13,400.
One new death was reported for a total of 189 to date.
The Health Department reported that 47 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 11 in intensive care.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 134.71 on Jan. 28 to 106.57 on Feb. 11.
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