The Florida Keys offices of the state Department of Health have used all of the first 1,300 COVID-19 vaccination allocations and will not be receiving anymore from the state until at least next week, officials said Tuesday.
Likewise, Lower Keys Medical Center has used all of its doses and plans to request an additional 100 to finish vaccinating its staff and others, hospital spokeswoman Lynn Corbett-Winn said.
Bob Eadie, who oversees the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County offices, raised concerns about when the state will be doling out more doses to the Florida Keys when local emergency managers, city and hospital representatives held their bimonthly conference call on Monday.
The local offices of the health department used their last does on Saturday. After the meeting, Eadie confirmed the Keys will not receive any doses this week and he “hoped” there will be another allocation to the Keys next week but as of Tuesday, he had “no confirmation of that,” he said.
The local Department of Health had been vaccinating EMTs, firefighters and local doctors and medical staff not affiliated with hospitals, Eadie said.
Also at Monday’s meeting, Lower Keys Medical Center and the operators of Mariners Hospital and Fishermen’s Hospital discussed the possibility of the two hospitals sharing doses with Lower Keys Medical Center.
In addition, the health department’s local telephone number and web site used for people to set up appointments for vaccinations had crashed and will not be up and running until Thursday evening or Friday morning, Eadie told The Key West Citizen.
Personal contact information will not be added to any waitlists by phone, in person or by email, according to the health department. A news release will also be issued when the web site and hotline are ready. These will not be released until more vaccines arrive in the county, according to a news release the Health Department issued Monday night.
Local health department representatives advised people to “not come to any health department location without an appointment.”
“Walk-ins are not allowed,” the local health department stated. “Walk-ins and congregating outside of any health department facility increases the opportunity for person-to-person transmission of the virus. Contact information will not be collected or kept by the department for anyone requesting for the vaccine in person at these facilities, as well as via the phone and by email.
“Additional vaccine supplies in-county will allow the department to expand to other vaccination sites throughout Monroe County. At this time, we are unable to open any sites or appointment times as no additional vaccines have arrived yet in Monroe County.”
To date 1,557, Monroe County residents have been vaccinated, according to the health department.
The community of Ocean Reef has been vaccinating its residents, Eadie said. Eadie did not know what criteria Ocean Reef was using to dole out the vaccinations or exactly how many doses Ocean Reef was allocated.
On Tuesday, the local health department reported 19 new cases in Monroe County, including eight more in Key West, one more in Marathon, one more in Summerland Key and four more in Tavernier. One case was recategorized from Cudjoe Key.
COVID-19 testing startup Curative is offering walk-up testing at Bernstein Park in Stock Island on weekdays and Founders Parks in Islamorada daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with more than 500 tests per day available to the public. Testing is currently available by walk-up or appointment. Appointments are available at http://www.curative.com.