IU Health Bloomington and Monroe County COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites may be closed some days next week due to the predicted colder temperatures and snow, said Monroe County Health Department Administrator Penny Caudill at the Monroe County COVID-19 conference call Friday.
If the county buildings close, then so will the Monroe County COVID-19 vaccine distribution clinic and testing site, Caudill said. Monroe County residents who are planning to be vaccinated on the days the buildings are closed will either be notified through a text message from the scheduling platform or a phone call and they will be able to reschedule their appointment.
Monroe County residents could also be notified about the testing sites closing and emergency weather updates through the Monroe County alert system, Allison Moore, Monroe County emergency management director, said.
Shawna Girgis, IU Health South Central Region program director of community relations and outreach, said the IU Health Bloomington vaccine site will be monitored separately and updates will be posted on social media if the site will be closed.
“We will continue to monitor what’s happening and the impacts to the vaccine clinics,” she said. “We want to keep everybody safe through this process.”
In response to the decreasing temperatures, Monroe County fire department stations are temporarily opening their space to community members who lost heat in their home for a period of time, do not have enough heat in their home or do not have a home at all, Moore said.
“I feel we are already in the bitter cold and it is just going to get worse,” she said.
These warming stations, which will be available from now until Feb. 23 due to extreme cold temperatures, are for short-term relief. Food and overnight shelter will not be provided. Social distancing and masks are required in the space, Moore said.
The locations are:
Bloomington Fire Station 1 (Headquarters)
- 300 E. 4th St., Bloomington
Bloomington Fire Station 2
- 209 S. Fairfield Drive, Bloomington
Ellettsville Fire Department Headquarters
- 5080 W. State Road 46, Ellettsville
Monroe Fire Protection District– Perry
- 3953 S. Kennedy Drive, Bloomington
Monroe Fire Protection District– Clear Creek
- 9094 S. Strain Ridge Road, Bloomington
Monroe Fire Protection District– Indian Creek
- 8019 S. Rockport Road, Bloomington
Monroe Fire Protection District- Bloomington
- 5081 N. Old State Road 37, Bloomington
Monroe Fire Protection District- Van Buren
- 2130 S. Kirby Road, Bloomington
Girgis said last week IU Health South Central region saw the fewest COVID-19 patients it has had since early October 2020. Statewide IU Health Intensive Care Units are at 64% capacity and regional IU Health ICUs are at 28% capacity.
Caudill said positivity rates for Monroe County decreased last week, even with a slight increase of about .1% from IU testing. Caudill said county officials are watching for a possible increase in cases in the next two weeks because of Super Bowl celebrations and the new COVID-19 variants. An increase in cases will factor into the county’s decisions on whether to maintain, increase or decrease COVID-19 regulations in the area.
The IU Health Bloomington vaccination site has given out a total of 22,891 vaccinations of the 26,915 vaccines they have received from the state, Girgis said. More than 2,600 vaccinations have been administered at the Monroe County vaccine distribution, Caudill said.
It is important to continue to wear masks, socially distance and follow COVID-19 protocols even after receiving the vaccine, Girgis said.
“We’re not out of this yet,” she said. “Please just continue to do your part and be vigilant.”