The La Paz County Health Department has begun providing coronavirus COVID-19 vaccinations in compliance with the priorities set by the Arizona Department of Health Services. On Jan. 6 and 7, they vaccinated people in the “1A” (top priority) classification, which includes emergency medical service workers and healthcare workers. This included all first responders, including firefighters and law enforcement officers.
County Health Director Marion Shontz said announcements will be made when the vaccines will be available to others in the county. She said that, as of last week, they had received only 400 doses. She added they hope to have more doses available soon.
The first vaccinations came in a week where La Paz County saw 251 more new cases and four deaths.
The state’s vaccination plan can be found on the ADHS website, www.azdhs.gov. The department states that the vaccination plan incorporates lessons learned from the 2009 H1N1 outbreak and a recent hepatitis outbreak. They said they have a strong vaccination infrastructure in place as a result of their response in 2009 to H1N1. They added they work closely with Arizona’s county health departments and the health departments of federally-recognized tribes.
Here are the classifications, as listed by priority for the vaccine:
Phase 1, December 2020 through Spring 2021
Healthcare workers and healthcare support operations
Emergency medical services workers
Long-term care facility staff and residents
Education and childcare workers
Protective services occupations
Essential services/critical industry workers
Adults with risk conditions in congregate settings
Adults 65 and older
Adults of any age with high-risk medical conditions
Adults living in congregate settings
Phase 2, Spring 2021 through Summer 2021
Any remaining Phase 1 populations
Additional high-risk critical populations
Phase 3, Summer 2021 and beyond
Any remaining Phase 1 or 2 populations
As of Jan. 10, the ADHS reported La Paz County as having 1,860 cases and 39 deaths. That’s 251 more cases than Jan. 3, including 72 reported Jan. 10. On Dec. 5, there were 969 cases. Almost half of the county’s cases have been added since that date.
The county’s cases include 631 members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes who were tested at Indian Health Services in Parker. A total of 10 Tribal members have died.
The week also saw Arizona top 600,000 cases and 10,000 deaths. As of Jan. 10, the ADHS reported 618,546 cases in the state and 10,141 deaths. That’s 62,000 more cases and 1,000 more deaths that have been added since Jan. 3.
The number of active cases in Arizona is 524,376 as of Jan. 10. A total of 84,029 Arizonans have recovered. Among cases that have reached a conclusion and are closed, the survival rate is 89.23 percent.
More than 90 percent of the state’s hospital and intensive care beds are occupied. The Arizona Interscholastic Association had cancelled the winter high school sports season because of fears injured athletes may not be able to get the treatment due to a lack of hospital space and available medical personnel. They reversed that decision Jan. 12, but added more restrictions than they had for the fall season.
Nationwide, as of Jan. 10, there were 22.7 million cases. The United States has seen more than one-quarter of the world’s cases. There have been 382,105 deaths. Of the cases that have been closed, 13.4 million have recovered for a survival rate of 97 percent.
California leads the nation with 2.67 million cases. In addition to California, four other states have seen more than 1 million cases: Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois. New York has seen the more number of deaths at 39,447.