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'We just have to keep at it': Madison County Health Dept. officials say the key to curbing COVID spread is communication and vaccinations

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Posted at 7:04 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 19:04:27-05

MADISON COUNTY — With the recent surge in COVID-19 infections across the nation, Madison County Health Administrator Stephenie Mellinger is pushing the need for their residents to get vaccinated. "We just have to keep at it. It's frustrating, it's frustrating for everyone," she said.

“The bottom line is, vaccinations. We are sitting at about 52% [of people] ages 5 and older in Madison County and we can do better than that. It’s occurring in 95% of people who are unvaccinated. So those people who are in our hospitals, less than 5% are vaccinated,” said Mellinger.

Madison County, like many counties across the state, are seeing a rise in cases. Mellinger says besides getting vaccinated, it's still important to wash your hands and keep your distance.

"All those things that we have been saying for nearly 2 years, it’s still important ... our hospitals are filling up, our healthcare system is taxed, we all have a role to play," she said. "Masking when you are indoors and around many people, we can’t forget that."

The department is out of rapid COVID-19 tests, but PCR tests are still available.

MORE: IDOH working to find more COVID-19 rapid test kits as some local health departments run out

The department has been getting creative by using social media to spread awareness, talking to hospitals and educating people when they come into their building.

“We try to remind people, like look, this is still an issue. I guess more than anything, it’s communication," Mellinger said.