By Dave Maxwell 


Christina Boyles, deputy county health officer, told county commissioners at the Jan. 20 meeting, “There  are 22 active COVID cases in the county, 21 tests pending,  and I do have a few more tests this week and we’ve had 33 new cases in January, averaging about two per day. Not every day, just the average.”

The new COVID vaccines were administered in Walker Lake Jan. 21 and Mina and Luning Jan. 22.

Some contact tracings she said were conducted on Jan. 25.

“The next large testing that I’ll actually do will likely be Feb. 1,” she said.  

Boyles said the changing of the vaccine methods to a lane system, has been beneficial because we could do two sides at once and not having to go down one tier at a time, as was the previous directive. “We are able to work on our front line essential work force and at the same time work on the general population.”

She added, “We thought that we would soon be able to start with the 18-65 age group and having underlying health issues, but the state does not feel we are at that spot, so we have kind of hit a roadblock there. We can, though, continue with 65 and older.”

Commission chair Hoferer said she felt, “county’s themselves should be able to decide if they are ready to move on as long as we are meeting the criteria.”

Boyles noted 200 doses of the second round of vaccines have been ordered and are expected to be administered at a large drive vaccination effort on Feb. 4.

Meantime, the pharmacy at the Hawthorne Safeway store received about 900 doses of the vaccine and was announced to be available by appointment only Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Boyles said at the clinic, “a consent form on a CDC pre-vaccination form has to be filled out in advance along with bringing your medical insurance information to the clinic.”

Not much different from when you go to the clinic anyway.

Commissioners wondered how Safeway would be able to use 900 doses before the 30-day expiration date.

“It could be transferred,” Hoferer said, and hoped it would be transferred to the hospital before it would expire.