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With the three of biggest holidays now behind us and a new year begun, COVID-19 cases in Randolph and Chambers counties continue to rise.

Vaccinations will be given at several locations in the county and those include local pharmacies:

  • Emerging Home Care in Roanoke has the Moderna vaccine on hand and will begin vaccinations on Thursday. According to pharmacist Karen Terry, the vaccine will be given under the guidelines of the Alabama Department of Public Health. "The first patients to get the shots will be first responders, teachers, citizens 75 years old and older and their caregivers." She said they have 200 units of the first dose, and when that number reaches 50 percent, they can order the second dose and more of the first dose. "The vaccine is available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay," Terry said. But the pharmacy does have administrative costs that can be covered by insurance if patients have coverage. "Patients will need to bring their insurance cards, medical and pharmacy, and their Medicare card. But if they do not have insurance, it will not disqualify them from getting the vaccine," Terry said. You can call to be put on a waiting list, (334) 863-7511.
  • H and M Drugs in Wedowee has requested 1,000 units of the Moderna vaccine, but as of Tuesday morning did not know when it would arrive; no dates or times have been set up yet. They are taking names for a waiting list and to get your name on the list, you can call (256) 357-2314.
  • Lowry Drugs in Roanoke ordered 50 units of the vaccine (100 total since it is given in two parts) on Monday. They are not sure when the vaccine will arrive. If you want to be put on the call list, you can contact them at (334) 863-6337.
  • Cleburne Pharmacy in Wedowee has 100 units of the vaccine on order and will contact patients when it arrives. Patients 65 years of age and older will be first priority. The pharmacy already has over 200 patients on a list for the vaccine. To add your name to the list, call (256) 357-2315.
  • The county EMA will administer vaccinations to Phase 1 individuals on a first-come, first-serve basis at the former National Guard Armory on LaFayette Highway in Roanoke on Monday, Jan. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Those in the first phase include frontline healthcare workers and people over the age of 75. Other monthly dates have been scheduled there from February through May.

It was reported that vaccines have been given by appointment at Randolph County Health Department in Roanoke on Monday, a holiday. The Leader contacted the local health department on Tuesday for information on the vaccinations, but we were referred to the district office in Gadsden.

A spokesman there said the district director was out in one of the counties covered by that office. When asked if the spokesman could contact the director, she said, "The director is busy with COVID clinics and cannot be disturbed to answer questions from a weekly newspaper."

Local case numbers

As of Jan. 18 statistics from the Alabama Department of Public Health, Randolph County now has a total of 1, 415 positive cases reported since the pandemic began in March of last year. There have been 35 deaths, 26 confirmed and six probable. In the last 14 days, there have been 134 new positive cases reported. The largest spike came on Jan. 1 with 14 cases reported. On Jan. 6 there were 10, Jan. 8 saw 11 new cases and Jan. 10 had 12 new cases.

According to statistics, there has been an average of 4.29 cases per day in the last seven days. Countywide there have been 6,618 tests administered since last March. Testing continues at a large number of locations in the county.

In Randolph County Schools, there have been 45 student positive cases and 32 staff positive. In addition there have been 529 student close contacts, 81 staff close contacts, 34 students symptoms and 14 staff symptoms. The statistics for the county schools are from Aug. 7, 2020, to Jan. 12 2021.

Through Jan.15, Roanoke City Schools have reported two positive students,0 positive staff, 14 student close contacts, two staff close contacts, one student symptom and 0 staff symptoms. For the second semester through Jan. 5, Roanoke has seen two student positives ( 2- Handley High, 0 - Handley Middle, 0 - Knight-Enloe Elementary), two staff positives (0 - HHS, 1- HMS, 1- KES), 21student close contacts (14 - HHS, 1- HMS, 6 - KES), five staff close contacts (4 - HHS, 1- HMS, 0 - KES), five student symptoms (5 - HHS, 0 - HMS, 0 - KES) and no staff with symptoms.

In Chambers County, there has been a total of 2,886 cases reported with 69 deaths. The seven-day average is eight cases per day. Some 13,392 tests have been reported. The largest day with new cases reported was Jan. 1 with 20.

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