Checking out the state’s coronavirus briefings

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Good afternoon,

Business people would be well advised to invest some time during the week to check out John Carney’s Covid-19 briefing, even if your’re not a fan of the governor. (Click here to check out the latest briefing)

Above photo shows DMV site in Delaware City during mass vaccination program

The briefing lasts for more than an hour, kicking off between 1:45 and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays. Each session is recorded and available for later viewing.

The information is especially useful at a time when employers are being inundated with questions.

Granted, the briefing lacks the tough and sometimes entertaining style of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, or the direct communications style of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Still, Carney, public health chief Dr. Karyl Rattay and Emergency Management chief A.J. Schall offer insights that often don’t make their way to print or social media posts.

Many have heard about the frustrations arising from frontline workers (often staff at physicians’ offices, outpatient surgery centers etc.) who have no idea on when vaccines will be administered to those in the 1A category.

Carney admitted that the vaccination program got off to a rocky start. It is clear that some health care workers seeking information on vaccinations were bounced back and forth between the state’s hotline and health care providers.

The state’s vaccination dashboard also suffers from a lack of timely information on inoculations. One example – vaccine shipments and inoculations at nursing homes are not immediately reported.

As the state and health care providers push toward completing Phase 1A, (health care workers and first responders) the big question is how to inoculate people in 1B, a huge category that includes those over 65.

One bone of contention is the definition of essential workers. Right now, restaurant and hotel workers appear to be in the 1C category.

Adding other workers to 1B could result in upwards 200,000 people falling into that category.

The state is piloting mass vaccinations, using off hours at Delaware DMV centers. Trial runs have already been made in inoculating first responders. Pharmacies will also play a key role.

Based on the state’s ability to test more than 100,000 people a month, mass vaccinations can be done, even with the added complexity and manpower needs. One issue is the need for pop-up Covid-19 testing that will divert precious resources.

The overriding question is the quantity of vaccine that’s actually available and the daunting task of administering two doses. Perhaps we sill get some clarity with the new administration.

From the outside looking in, things appear to be chaotic. But few of us are health care professionals and for now it is best to seek out reliable information and not jump to conclusions. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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