Residents urged to register for shots with multiple providers

Whitmer lowers flags to honor 500,000

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The Ingham County Health Department is urging residents who are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine to register for their shots with multiple providers, including the Health Department, Sparrow Health System, McLaren Greater Lansing, Rite Aid and Meijer.

About 70,000 people were registered for the vaccine with the Health Department last week, but officials can only accept up to 3,000 new patients each week due to limited supplies allocated to each local provider. To ensure supplies are used, residents should seek vaccines everywhere.

“Unless supply drastically increases, the reality is that it will likely be April or May before everyone who is registered and eligible as of today is vaccinated,” Vail said. “I continue to advocate for more vaccine for our community and hope we will start to see increases in supply.”

Eligible residents — including frontline workers and those 65 and up — are also encouraged to cancel unwanted appointments after securing a shot from a provider to avoid redundancies. Both doses of the two-dose vaccine must come from the same provider, officials emphasized.

The number for the Health Department’s vaccine hotline is 517-887-4623. Additionally, anyone can pre-register for the vaccine through the Meijer pharmacy clinic and Rite Aid pharmacies. Online patient portals are also available online for Sparrow and McLaren in Greater Lansing.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in accordance with a proclamation from President Joe Biden, ordered flags lowered this week to honor the 500,000 people who have died from COVID-19 nationwide. The staggering death toll has led to a one-year decrease in overall life expectancy in the U.S. Black Americans were hit harder than white people, who lost 2.7 years compared to 0.8 years.

State data released this week shows that 42% of those who have received vaccines are white while just 4% are Black. The bulk of vaccinations (about 44%) didn’t include information about race. A new direct entry tool now allows providers to enter additional demographics into the state’s tracking system. Residents are also urged to fill out race data questions when they get their vaccine in order to better direct the state’s strategy to address and target any inequities.

In related news…

A total of 50 small businesses in the city of Lansing were awarded Small Business Survival grants from the state of Michigan last week — sharing from a pot of $3 million in the form of $15,000 grants for a total of 194 businesses across Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association pushed the start date for spring sports this week back to March 22. Competitions can begin as early as March 26, according to state guidance.
Because COVID-19 primarily is spread through respiratory droplets in the air, the Lansing School District is in the process of installing $1.5 million in new HVAC systems in each building this week before some in-person classes resume next month, reports the Lansing State Journal.

Results from the daily testing of prisoners and staff at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia resulted in the detection of at least 90 cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant last week. The first set of samples showed that 90 of 95 tests among prisoners and staff that tested positive for the coronavirus had also tested positive for the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant.

Spartan Precision Machining Inc. in Holt was fined $2,800 this week for violations of emergency rules regarding COVID-19 workplace safety. State officials allege the business didn’t conduct daily self-screening protocols, require face masks or train its staff on coronavirus mitigation.

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