SUBSCRIBE NOW

Shorter lines make Siskiyou's second COVID-19 vaccine clinic run smoothly

Bill Choy
Siskiyou Daily News
Siskiyou County Public Health information officer Angelica Cook asks a person if they are signed up for the 2nd COVID-19 vaccine Friday in front of the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds.

Shorter lines greeted people who arrived at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds Friday to receive their second COVID-19 vaccine shot. 

The biggest difference is that people make appointments online this time around, said Siskiyou County Public Health information officer Angelica Cook.

At the county's first vaccine clinic on Jan. 22, people arrived as early as 3 a.m. to line up and for their chance to get vaccinated, although the event wasn't scheduled to begin until 10 a.m. Cars lined up more than a mile down Fairlane Road waiting to get into the fairgrounds, and some people were turned away as the interest exceeded vaccine availability.

At Friday's clinic, Cook said the first group of people arrived at around 8 a.m., and they were able to begin offering shots around 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes earlier than the posted start time of 10 a.m. 

Vehicles line up for the second COVID-19 vaccine at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds on Friday in Yreka.

She said appointments were made online, and vaccines were available to the 1,146 individuals who got their first COVID-19 vaccine dose on Jan. 22.

“Overall, people coming in were all very pleased that they did not have to wait in a long line,” Cook said.  

Other improvements included making the waiting lanes in the fairgrounds wider, providing more portable restrooms, and more spaces for people with mobility issues.  

More:5 questions answered about COVID-19, vaccines in Siskiyou County

“It was an absolute success; everything went very smoothly,” said Siskiyou County Public Health Director Shelly Davis. “The scheduling process worked very well and people were very happy. We have the most fantastic staff at the Public Health Department and I am grateful for all their hard work. We also appreciate all the volunteers that helped at both events; we couldn’t have done it without them.”   

Pam Borg, a longtime P.E. teacher at Yreka High School, said she was impressed with how things went overall on Friday.  

Siskiyou County Public Health information officer Angelica Cook asks a person if they are signed up for the 2nd COVID-19 vaccine Friday in front of the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds.

“This round went a lot smoother than the first time,” she said. “My mom – who's 83 – and I waited over three hours the first time compared to less than an hour this time.”  

Borg said she and her mother had a 10 a.m. appointment, arrived at 9:30 a.m., and were out by 10:20 a.m.  

“The appointments definitely seemed to streamline the overall process,” she said. “As with doing things for the first time, you figure out what went well and what didn't and fix for the next time. And they did just that.”  

Borg thanked all the public health workers, volunteers, police staff, and RNs “for keeping us safe and healthy.”  

More:WITH VIDEO: Siskiyou runs out of COVID vaccine before Yreka clinic begins

A little after 10 a.m., Cook manned the entrance into the fairgrounds and checked vehicles entering. She asked them if they had an appointment and what time it was scheduled for.  

Many people expressed surprise with the lack of long waits. One person even arrived around three hours earlier than the scheduled time out of concern of long lines. When they were told they had to come back closer to their scheduled time, they didn’t seem to mind and asked how long it would likely take. When told it would be around an hour, the person smiled.  

Amy Gaither, a Yreka Union High School District nurse who helped out at the event, agreed that everything went smoothly.

“Everyone was appreciative, and I am honored to be a part of this," Gaither said. 

Also helping to distribute the vaccine on Friday was Health Services Director for the Siskiyou County Office of Education, RN Patty Morris.

“It was a great opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare staff in the community and with public health,” she said. “I look forward to being a part of this again.”  

Cook said currently, there are clinics and caregivers throughout the county that have the vaccine available for those that qualify. She encouraged people to see if they qualify and get the vaccine when they can. She added that the county hopes to have other vaccine events like this in the future. While they don’t have any specific date at this time, they hope to announce something soon.

Cars wait inside the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds to get into the 2nd COVID-19 vaccine event on Friday.

A list of CalVax certified providers in Siskiyou County can be found at https://www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/publichealth/page/covid-19-calvax-providers 

To find out when your age group or occupation is eligible, go to the state’s COVID dashboard at https://myturn.ca.gov/landing