One of the tools in the fight against Covid-19 is a newly re-vamped online dashboard available to the public showing which programs are working to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. After evaluating the data, state officials know which programs are working and where to make adjustments in policy or practice, in order to be more effective. Through collaborations and the hard work of Fitzgibbon Hospital, partnerships with the Saline County Health Department and other health and community entities, as of Feb. 11, approximately 14.8% of Saline County’s population had received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, with more than 4,017 doses reported being administered. This percentage of Saline County residents vaccinated places Saline County as seventh highest among all counties in the state of Missouri and is testament to the hard work and collaboration which has occurred in recent weeks.
This data is publicly available at the website: https://showmestrong.mo.gov/data/public-health/vaccine/
While much of the data collected is in systems outside the public eye, many have been turned into searchable features that the public can access so they can be “in-the-know” during the pandemic. Fitzgibbon Hospital has posted its testing figures since day No. 1 of the pandemic on the Covid-19 page on its own website, www.fitzgibbon.org. As of Feb. 11, Fitzgibbon had administered just short of 22,000 Covid-19 tests to not just Saline Countians but to residents of dozens of counties in Missouri, across America and even those from foreign countries. But the number of Covid-19 tests conducted by the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 hospital is just part of the story. A link to the dashboard can be found by going to www.fitzgibbon.org/covid19.
Another source of Covid-19 information is from the Missouri Hospital Association, which maintains a partnership with hospitals and gathers information released by the State of Missouri from health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers, state agencies and more. The interactive dashboard affords individuals across the state the opportunity to track positive Covid-19 cases in Missouri, deaths, virus reproductive rates, hospitalizations, testing and hospital capacities, outbreaks, demographics and even the monitoring of influenza across the state. The goal of the dashboard is to provide Covid-19 and influenza-like illness trends to inform stakeholders and support decision-making at the local hospital level.
In an email sent to hospital leadership, the Missouri Hospital Association recently detailed key findings from their dashboard. The new U.K. variant of Covid-19 was detected in Marion County earlier this week. Experts say the new strain is 35 to 45 percent more contagious, and the prevalence of the virus is doubling every nine days in the United States. It is unknown at this time if the variant is any more or less virulent. Additionally, the incidents of Covid-19 throughout the state has continued to decline, with hospitalizations falling below 1,600 patients, a number not seen since the middle of October 2020. This represents a 45 percent decrease in hospitalizations since the first week of January 2021.
In another new dashboard that has hit the internet over the last few weeks, vaccine events across the state can now be viewed by the public. The link to this dashboard can also be found at www.fitzgibbon.org/covid19.
During the first few weeks of 2021, Fitzgibbon Hospital has partnered with local health partners and stakeholders such as the Saline County Health Department, ambulance districts and colleges to hold vaccine clinics in Saline, Chariton and Howard counties, providing Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations as part of the statewide phased-in vaccination plan. Fitzgibbon was identified as a ‘high throughput’ health system which will receive an allotment of 1,200 doses of vaccine twice during the month of February to distribute to residents in the counties it serves. Thus far, Fitzgibbon Hospital and its partner organizations have delivered more than 4,000 vaccines in Saline, Chariton and Howard counties.
Via a partnership with the Health Care Collaborative of Mid-Missouri, Fitzgibbon also provided 600 first doses of vaccine for administration at an event this week in Lexington, Mo.
Pre-registration is required for all vaccine events scheduled by Fitzgibbon Hospital or its clinics. Individuals wanting to receive the Covid-19 vaccine should go to www.fitzgibbon.org/preregister to indicate their desire to get the vaccine. Those without computer access may call a dedicated phone line at which you may leave a message, at 660-831-3783. You will not receive a call back until there is available vaccine and your phase of eligibility is open. There are no walk-ins allowed at vaccination events, as the number of vaccines is limited. Cold storage and handling requirements make quick vaccine administration the priority. To learn more about the State of Missouri’s phased plan for vaccine distribution and to discover when you might qualify to receive the vaccine, visit www.mostopscovid.com.