COVID cases, positivity rates trending downward

People seeking vaccinations lined up early in the morning on Jan. 30 at Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario. Another first-round clinic will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. Attendees are reminded to enter the Cultural Center on the south side through the theater entrance.


Malheur County Health Department will be back at Four Rivers Cultural Center starting at 10 a.m. Saturday to administer another round of free Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines to people in any group of Phase 1a and the first group of Phase B.

The health department will administer 400 doses of the vaccine to people who live and work in Malheur County and are in the eligible group for health care and education. The clinic will last until about 2 p.m. or until supplies last, and they will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

However, it is noteworthy that eligibility does expand beyond identifiers set forth in the groupings.

“For example, a 47-year-old woman who provides care to her 72-year-old father-in-law is eligible to be vaccinated, and her father-in-law is, too,” reads information from the Health Department. “They qualify under Phase 1a-Group 3. Similarly, the parents of a medically fragile 3-year-old are also eligible, regardless of where they work or how old they are. Under Phase 1b.1, someone who provides childcare in their home is currently eligible, as are all the staff of an early learning facility.”

While there is no out-of-pocket cost for the vaccine, individuals with insurance are asked to bring their cards so administration fees can be billed.

During the Jan. 30 event, the line was already extremely long by the time the clinic began. As with last week’s clinic, officials urged citizens to wait until 9 a.m. before lining up and to dress appropriately and bring an umbrella as the wait was expected to be long and outdoors. Wheelchairs will be available for those individuals who need them.

Those attending are urged to wear a mask and to use the south entrance of the Cultural Center near the theater.

Are you eligible?

Following is a breakdown of eligibility for Saturday’s vaccine clinic.

Phase 1a

Group 1

• Hospital staff with patient care responsibilities

• Urgent care

• Skilled nursing and memory care facility healthcare personnel and residents

• Tribal health programs

• Emergency medical services providers and other first responders

• All health care interpreters and traditional health workers in any setting within Phase 1a;

Group 2

• Other long-term care facilities, including all paid and unpaid healthcare personnel, all staff and contractors, including residents who meet the age requirements of:

• Residential care facilities

• Adult foster care

• Group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

• Other similar congregate care sites

• Hospice programs

• Mobile crisis care and related services

• Individuals working in a correctional setting;

Group 3

• Health-care personnel in outpatient settings serving specific high-risk groups

• Day treatment services

• Non-emergency medical transport

• Paid or unpaid caregivers (including parents or foster parents) of medically fragile children or adults who live at home

• Adults and age-eligible children who have a medical condition or disability who receive services in their homes;

Group 4

• All other outpatient health-care personnel

• Other healthcare personnel who provide direct service to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other high-risk populations

• Other public health settings, such as healthcare personnel serving WIC, or community-based organizations with direct or indirect exposures; and

Phase 1b Group 1

Childcare providers, early learning and K-12 educators and staff.

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