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Moniteau County has begun rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations to residents per Gov. Mike Parson's priority list.

Missouri is currently vaccinating people included in Phase 1A, Phase 1B-Tier 1 and Phase 1B-Tier 2.

Phase 1A includes front-line medical personnel and congregate community health care settings staff and residents.

Phase 1B-Tier 1 includes first responders, people in emergency services and other members of the public health infrastructure who aren't front-line health care workers.

Phase 1B-Tier 2 includes anyone 65 or older and any adults with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, weakened immune system due to organ transplant, severe obesity (BMI greater than 40), sickle cell disease and Type 2 diabetes. It also includes pregnant women and people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome.

Moniteau County residents may visit the Health Center's website, moniteaucountyhealth.org, to register for the county's vaccination wait list. Residents can also get help with registering by calling the Moniteau County Health Center at 573-796-3412.

From that list, the Health Center will contact people as they become eligible and will work with them to set a vaccination appointment, Health Center Environmental Specialist Darrell Hendrickson said.

"We got 400 doses this week. We'll shoot all 400 before Friday," Hendrickson said early this week of the county's progress. "It's been a pretty steady stream of folks."

Hendrickson said he's uncertain how many doses Moniteau County may receive from week to week, but as long as vaccine numbers hold up, he would expect the county to be fine. Hendrickson said Moderna's vaccine could help supplement the county's supply, as well.

Hendrickson said Moniteau County's new COVID-19 risk classification — downgraded from "extreme risk" to "critical risk," as determined by the state — is great news after a busy few months of new cases.

The "extreme risk" classification requires a county to show a seven-day PCR positivity rate of 15 percent or above and a seven-day case rate per 100,000 members of the population at 350 or above. The lower "critical risk" classification means a county has a seven-day PCR positivity rate between 10-14 percent and a seven-day case rate per 100,000 members of the population between 100-349.

Moniteau County's seven-day positivity rate and seven-day case rate per 100,000 members of the population were 8.2 percent and 130 respectively as of Monday.

"That just means the stuff we have been doing over the last several months now seems to be working, just want to encourage people to keep it up," Hendrickson said. "This is not the time to take the foot off the gas; it's time to continue being safe, wear the mask, do the hand-washing, do the social distancing until we do get the population vaccinated."

Active cases numbered at 34 as of Thursday. A total of 1,858 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Moniteau County since last March.

For more information about COVID-19 in Missouri and what can be done to help stop the spread, visit oneforallmo.com. Additional information about COVID-19 can be found at health.mo.gov/coronavirus or cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Missouri operates a statewide COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411 from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week.

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