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CHI St. Joseph's Health staff will be vaccinated starting Dec. 21

Health care workers with CHI St. Joseph's Health are slated to receive the COVID-19 vaccine next week.

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CHI St. Joseph’s Health workers expect to get the first round of the COVID-19 vaccination starting next week, according to a news release.

Minnesota is using a hub-and-spoke model for vaccine distributions, the release said, with 25 locations selected around the state that have sufficient cold storage. “These sites will then break down the shipments into smaller amounts needed for sites throughout the state,” it said.

Sanford Health in Bemidji was identified as the hub for the northwest region of Minnesota, which includes Hubbard County.

Per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be given to people working in hospitals and health care settings who could contract the virus at work and to residents of long-term care facilities.

The news release states, “The first vaccine allocation for Hubbard County will be specifically allocated for hospitals, with more doses expected shortly after for long-term care residents and EMS staff.”


CHI St. Joseph’s Community Health Director Marlee Morrison said, “The vaccine is being distributed with guidance on who will receive the initial doses. As the Hubbard County public health agent, we are coordinating with the hospital, our regional partners and the state to ensure that the vaccine is distributed appropriately.”

The first vaccine received will be a limited supply from Pfizer, which received FDA emergency use authorization on Dec. 12.

Hospital and community health staff are currently receiving training on how to administer the vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine requires ultra-cold storage, with specific instructions about storage and handling to maintain the integrity of the vaccine. Recipients will require two doses of the vaccine, 21 days apart. There is no cost to receive the vaccine, but providers may charge an administration fee that is reimbursable through insurance.

Deb Haagenson, vice president of patient care at CHI St. Joseph’s Health, said, “CHI St. Joseph’s Health stands ready to receive the vaccine and begin vaccinating our health care workforce. As we begin this process, it is important that we continue to follow MDH and CDC guidelines for the pandemic – wash your hands regularly, wear face coverings in public, stay home when you are sick and maintain social distance. These measures, in combination with the vaccine, will help our community recover from the pandemic.”

Area COVID-19 numbers

As of Nov. 26 through Dec. 9, Hubbard County’s positivity rate was 13.6 percent of 1,868 tests completed.

Following are the state-listed total number of positive COVID-19 cases in the lakes area, by county, as of Thursday, Dec. 17.

  • Becker: 2,548, up 24 cases since Dec. 16 (30 deaths).

  • Beltrami: 2,602 cases, up 38 cases since Dec. 16 and 2 additional deaths (32 deaths)

  • Cass: 1,786 cases, up 14 since Dec. 16 (14 deaths)

  • Clearwater: 613, up 3 cases since Dec. 16 (10 deaths).

  • Hubbard: 1,324, up 18 cases since Dec. 16 (34 deaths).

  • Mahnomen: 359, up 1 case since Dec. 16 (6 deaths).

  • Otter Tail: 3,972, up 41 cases since Dec. 16 including 1 additional death (40 deaths).

  • Wadena: 1,030, up 3 cases since Dec. 16 (9 deaths).

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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