Southern Seven Health Department announced Tuesday the launch of a new mobile COVID-19 vaccine tour throughout its region. These pop-up vaccination events are aimed to reach some of the farthest outlying townships in the seven counties of Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union.

“While we’ve been working through our waitlists of individuals who were wanting to get vaccinated, we’ve been in place at large centralized locations to make it easy to maintain social distancing with the expected large crowds,” said Nathan Ryder, outreach coordinator for Southern Seven’s Contact Tracing Team. “Now that we’ve been able to vaccinate those larger crowds and that demand is slowing down, we’d like to hit the road and make it easier for residents in those farthest outlying areas to get vaccinated if they’d like.”

The mobile pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics will utilize the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Wellness on Wheels (WOW) vans to provide the traveling clinic space to administer the vaccines. Individuals will then be able to wait their required 15-minutes after the vaccine in the comfort of their own car parked nearby.

“This unique rolling clinic gives people in some of the most rural areas of our counties an opportunity to easily get vaccinated close to home,” Ryder said. “We will be able to roll up to a designated spot, park the WOW van and open the door to accept our first patient within just a few minutes of arrival. People will be able to schedule themselves an appointment for these pop-up clinics online or show up as a walk-in.”

The Massac County clinic will take place on Saturday, May 1, from:

• 10 a.m. until noon at Big John; and

• 2-4 p.m. at Brookport’s First Baptist Church, located at 700 Pell Rd.

“These mobile clinics will operate in addition to our regularly scheduled mass vaccination locations,” Ryder noted.

Currently, Southern Seven is operating two fixed mass vaccination locations in the region from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is no charge for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine from Southern Seven. Appointments are available, but walk-ins are accepted.

To guarantee a vaccine dose on a given day, people can schedule themselves for a vaccine appointment using IDPH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Registration system online at covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov.

Vaccines will be provided only to Illinois residents and/or individuals with proof of employment in Illinois. Everyone over the age of 18-years old is eligible to get vaccinated.

For questions regarding COVID-19 or vaccine clinic locations, contact Southern Seven at 618-634-2297 or on Facebook or online at www.southern7.org.

Massac County has four new cases

According to statistics from Southern Seven, Massac County’s COVID numbers slightly increased over the past week.

Four new cases of COVID — one each in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 70s — were reported from April 14-20.

Of the 1309 total cases of COVID in Massac County since the beginning of the pandemic, 1270 people have recovered. As of Tuesday, there were four active cases.

The county has had 34 deaths attributed to the disease since August 2020.

There were zero deaths reported this week for the Southern Seven region, which has seen 100 deaths attributed to COVID since the pandemic began.

In the past week, there have been 26 new cases with 198 recovered in Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union counties. There have been 6708 cumulative cases in the region since the pandemic began.

Since the COVID vaccine first arrived on Dec. 16, 2020, 6257 vaccines have been administered in Massac County with 2889 fully vaccinated through Tuesday, meaning 20.52% of the county’s population has been fully vaccinated. Southern Seven vaccination numbers are reported weekly — 27,856 doses had been given as of April 16.

As of Tuesday, according to IDPH, there were 2587 new individuals with COVID-19 identified in the state, bringing the confirmed total to 1,306,787 individuals with 21,694 deaths.

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