Noyes ready for COVID-19 vaccine

Pollard: Noyes has a plan in place and is ready to begin distribution of the vaccine when it arrives

Chris Potter
The Dansville Online
Due to an increase in COVID-positive cases in the region, UR  Medicine | Noyes Health implemented a revised visitor restriction policy.

DANSVILLE — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced initial plans last week for New York state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and now local health care centers in the Southern Tier will be charged with distributing the shots.

Nursing home residents and staff, along with high-risk health care workers, will be prioritized for initial vaccinations.

Officials across the state said they are still forming plans for widespread distribution of the vaccine, which Cuomo said could be made available to the general public in the state in February.

In Dansville, Noyes Health president and CEO Amy Pollard said the Department of Health will notify the hospital directly when and which vaccine will be shipped to Noyes.

“We have a plan in place and are ready to take delivery and begin distribution of the vaccine when it arrives,” Pollard said Thursday. “We have the appropriate refrigeration and storage capability for whichever vaccine is sent. Initial doses are intended for health care workers who have direct contact with patients, in particular staff who are more apt to have contact with COVID positive patients. We have identified those employees. We anticipate that frontline staff will have had their first dose within a month.” 

Pollard noted that participation in the vaccination is voluntary. 

AMY POLLARD

“We are collaborating with UR Medicine to provide support to employees in the form of Zoom meetings, virtual town halls, and web-based resources to help educate our staff and answer their important questions,” she said. 

Pollard doesn’t expect widespread community vaccinations until well into 2021. 

“Locally, we expect residents and staff of long term care facilities also will be in the first round of vaccine offerings,” Pollard said. “Once the availability of vaccine rises to the level where it can be offered to the community, we will be working with public health departments to coordinate the logistics of vaccinating our communities.

“As time goes on, the vaccine will become more available, but it will likely be late spring to early summer before everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to get the vaccine.” 

Rising COVID-19 cases 

The vaccine arrives as Steuben and Livingston County experience a fall and winter surge of COVID-19 cases locally. 

Livingston County climbed to 215 active cases by Monday evening’s report, bringing the total to 1,156 to date. Dansville’s 14437 zip code had 18 active cases. Overall, Dansville has experienced 126 cases to date. Wayland’s 14572 zip code had five active cases. Dalton had two active cases, while Hunt had four and Nunda had zero. 

In Steuben County, active cases are basically double Livingston County. The Steuben County Public Health Department reported 426 active cases Monday night, with a total of 2,520 confirmed cases to date. 

New cases announced Monday included residents of the Town of Cohocton (2), Town of Dansville (7),  Town of Hornellsville (4) and Town of Wayland (2). 

“The spread of COVID-19 continues to be at a level that is unsafe for the community,” said Public Health Director Darlene Smith. “Please consider what steps you can take to slow the spread as we continue this holiday season. What safety measures and changes can you implement so we do not continue to see such high numbers of cases and deaths each week?” 

All residents should continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills or repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell and contact their healthcare provider for instructions if feeling ill.