The Edgar County Public Health Department has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic since early 2020. Our mission is to prevent disease, promote health, and protect our community. The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought many uncertainties and challenges. Your local health staff has been working 7 days a week with long hours to protect our community from disease. Contact tracing, case investigation, public education and guidance were services carried out by the health department for the last 16 months. At one point, ECPHD had hired 14 new staff members to help with our response.
One of our biggest accomplishments has been our mass vaccination effort. ECPHD leads the mass vaccination efforts in our small community. Beginning in February of 2021, ECPHD staff conducted the first mass vaccination drive-thru event. At that point in time, vaccine supply was limited but we successfully vaccinated 200 Edgar County residents at our first vaccine clinic. ECPHD employs 3 full-time registered nurses who are certified to administer the vaccine. Staff has spent evenings and weekends setting up and conducting drive-thru vaccination clinics, working many of them in unfavorable weather conditions. To date, the ECPHD staff has successfully completed almost 50 vaccine clinics since February including Saturday clinics. We held a drive-thru event where we vaccinated 407 individuals in one clinic!
Along with several drive-thru events, staff from ECPHD visited local schools, businesses, and factories to provide on-site COVID vaccinations. For several weeks our registered nurses were giving vaccines up to 4/5 days a week on top of maintaining compliance in other programs and duties within the local health department. While pharmacies and physician’s offices now have access to order the vaccine, for several months, the local health department was the only entity providing the vaccine.
We would like to give a BIG thanks to Lake Ridge Christian Church, the City of Paris street department, and the Illinois Department of Transportation for their generosity to allow us to use your parking lots and traffic cones. We also would like to thank Lake Ridge Christian Church for providing drinks, snacks, and meals to our staff and opening up your facility to use when it rained.
While we have reached Phase 5 of the reopening plan in Illinois, the local health department staff continues to fight through the COVID-19 Pandemic. The ECPHD COVID-19 Response Team and Administration continue to meet to discuss our response to the Pandemic. Your local health department is still here for you. Currently, ECPHD offers COVID-19 vaccine clinics on Monday evenings from 4-6 PM and Tuesday mornings from 9-11 AM.