Richland Center, WI: Richland Hospital Emergency Management Coordinator, Lyle Kratochwill announced that the Richland Hospital received their first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, December 17th and was able to vaccinate 63 of their frontline health care workers. Another Pfizer vaccine shipment is anticipated to arrive today, which will also be administered to frontline healthcare workers, as Phase 1a of the Wisconsin COVID-19 Response Plan continues to proceed. Kratochwill reports that the Richland Hospital anticipates to receive additional allocations of the Pfizer vaccine on a weekly basis and the Wisconsin COVID-19 Response Plan will be adhered to for distribution. At this time, the Richland Hospital has not received information regarding the distribution of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) advises that it will be months before the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available. A collaborative partnership has been established between the Richland Hospital, Richland County Health & Human Services, and Richland County Emergency Management to develop a local plan to effectively and efficiently distribute vaccinations as they become available. This group will meet weekly to clarify the details of the local plan. The current phases of the Wisconsin COVID-19 Response Plan are as follows (as of December 22, 2020):
- Phase 1a includes vaccinating front-line health care workers and long-term care facility residents and staff that generally serve people 65 years and older.
- Phase 1b includes vaccinating front-line essential workers.
- Phase 1c includes vaccinating individuals age 65 and older, age 16 to 64 with high-risk conditions, and essential workers not included in Phase 1b.
- Phase 2 includes vaccinating all individuals age 16 and older not included in Phase 1 (general public).
Until the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available, citizens are encouraged to follow the strategies listed below to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19:
- Physically distance at least 6 feet from people with whom you do not live.
- Wear a cloth face mask, unless unable to wear one for medical reasons.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Indoors: do not gather with people outside of your household.
- Outdoors: limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer, physically distance and wear face coverings.
- If symptomatic, call your health care provider, get a test, and stay home while awaiting results.
- Cooperate with public health officials if you have tested positive or are a close contact.
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information, follow Richland County Health & Human Services on Facebook or consult the following websites:
- Richland County: https://covid.co.richland.wi.us
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/