Ogle County health officials distributing COVID-19 vaccines

High call, email volume hindering ability to schedule appointments


ROCHELLE — The Ogle County Health Department has begun vaccinating Ogle County residents who qualify under Phase 1A of the IDPH COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. The department will begin vaccinating residents included under Phase 1B in the coming weeks.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday afternoon that the state will begin Phase 1B of the vaccination strategy on Jan. 25. According to a release from the Ogle County Health Department, first responders and frontline employees with the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 will be first to receive vaccinations during Phase 1B. The department said it plans to move quickly through these groups when Phase 1B begins over the next several weeks.

The Ogle County Health Department said a high call volume and a large number of emails regarding COVID-19 vaccinations has slowed its ability to schedule vaccination appointments. Residents are asked to visit www.health.oglecounty.org. to preregister. The data collection from this link will be used to schedule appointments during the appropriate time period of Phase 1B.

“We are asking that people don’t call or email the department to preregister at this time,” said Kyle Auman, public health administrator of the Ogle County Health Department. “We understand the large interest and everyone’s anticipation to be vaccinated but we need to focus on scheduling appointments and communicating with those who we are preparing to vaccinate. Please use the link we are providing, this will drastically improve our ability to respond.”

Due to limited vaccines allotted, OCHD is required to take a slow and calculated approach when it comes to identifying populations to vaccinate and scheduling of appointments. There are no concerns that the health department will be able to vaccinate everyone, but the process is going to be deliberate to ensure that everyone receives their first and second dose of vaccine.

Illinois has received 995,000 doses of vaccine since federal shipments began last month. The state has administered 447,348 total doses including 56,624 doses at long-term care facilities. Ogle County has administered 1,919 total doses, roughly 1 percent of the county population.

Illinois has reported 1,059,324 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in early 2020. The state has conducted over 14.5 million COVID-19 tests and confirmed 18,049 deaths. Ogle County has conducted 41,765 tests and confirmed 4,554 total cases and 63 deaths. The seven-day rolling average positivity rate in Ogle County was 9.8 percent on Friday.