Baptist Health Madisonville and the Hopkins County Health Department have now started to vaccinate those in tier 1C.

Tier 1C means anyone aged 60 years and older, anyone who is 16 years and older with chronic illnesses, and essential workers.

Kristy Quinn, marketing and public relations director for the hospital, said tier 1C will take some time to go through because it is the largest group of people.

“We are focusing on those in the 60 and older group with comorbid conditions first and will then continue through the other populations that are within tier 1C per the governor’s definition,” she said.

Quinn said the hospital is still administering over 1,000 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses each week and will continue to do so. If the allotment of vaccines increases, then they can work through tier 1C faster.

“The addition of the newest vaccine for use and the number of pharmacies and sites receiving the vaccine in the area only help to get people vaccinated quicker, which is everyone’s goal,” she said.

Quinn said as of Monday, there were seven COVID-19 patients in the hospital. COVID-19 patients make up 6% of the hospital’s total patient population. As of Sunday, they had no COVID-19 patients in the Critical Care Unit.

The health department reported 19 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, bringing the total number of active cases to 191. There have been 127 COVID-19 related deaths in the county and 3,537 who have recovered.

The director of the Hopkins County Health Department, Denise Beach, said this week they are working on administering booster doses to those who have received the first dose.

She said the health department will start vaccinating any healthy 60 years old and older Hopkins County residents and those who are 50 years old and older who have health conditions, along with 50-plus essential workers.

“We will be placing appointments on our website next week,” said Beach.

Both Quinn and Beach said residents still need to wear a mask, social distance, use hand sanitizer and get the vaccine when it is their time. Beach asks residents to utilize businesses that protect their safety by wearing masks and requiring masks.

“The numbers are going down, but there is not enough for herd immunity,” she said. “We need to get about 70% of the population vaccinated so that we can have herd immunity.”

She said the health department has not seen any problems from the vaccine in Hopkins County, other than the expected like a sore arm, mild fatigue and muscle aches.

To sign up for an appointment through Baptist Health, visit www.scheduleyourvaccine.com or call 270-825-7330. To sign up for an appointment through the health department, visit www.hopkinscohealthdept.com/coronavirus-vaccination- information.

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