Coronavirus: Clark County health district’s phones ‘blow up’ as residents try to schedule vaccinations

Original cutline: Clark County teachers get their COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday at the Clark County distribution center at the Upper Valley Mall. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

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Clark County teachers get their COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday at the Clark County distribution center at the Upper Valley Mall. The Clark County Combined Health District's phone system "blew up" on Friday after so many residents followed the health district with calls about scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

A flood of calls from residents seeking to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment crashed the Clark County Combined Health District’s phone system on Friday.

Charles Patterson, the health commissioner at the CCCHD, said when vaccine scheduling opened at the health district on Friday at 8 a.m. the phone system “blew up.”

“We just had too many calls and we could barely hear people on the phone the quality was so low. In some cases, we had to take their numbers and call them back on their cell phones,” Patterson said. “I want to apologize to everyone who is trying to get a vaccine because there just isn’t enough.”

Patterson said the health district is doing everything in its power to make scheduling as easy as possible. The CCCHD has already doubled phones and are working with their phone system to increase call volume.

“Is it perfect? No,” Patterson said. “We have about 13,700 people who qualify for the vaccine in Clark County and 700 doses. The availability continues to be very low and we have a very high demand. I know that people are frustrated. We’re frustrated too. We share that frustration.”

The county received 700 doses to be used as first doses of vaccine this week. Next week the county is scheduled to receive about 1,000 doses, a sign that “more vaccine is coming every week,” Patterson said.

“I would beg everyone to be patient,” Patterson said. “Everyone who wants a dose is going to get a dose, but it’s just taking much longer than we would like.”

Patterson said he understands that the reason so many residents are excited about receiving the vaccine is because it marks the beginning of the end of the pandemic.

“That’s really what people are after. They are after hope. They are after the opportunity to see their kids and their grandkids and their neighbors and their friends again and we want that for them. We all want that. It just might take a little longer,” Patterson said.

Outside of the health district, Clark County has eight other COVID-19 vaccine providers. Scheduling is available at CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Rocking Horse Community Health Center, the New Carlisle Community Health Center, Discount Drug Mart and all three Springfield-area Kroger pharmacy locations.

ExploreHere is how to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Clark County

Clark County had 11,881 cases of the coronavirus as of Friday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The county also had 293 deaths and 13 probable deaths.

As of Friday, 16,234 vaccination shots have been given in Clark County, according to ODH. That’s about 12.1% of the county’s population.

Fewer than 2,000 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Ohio for the fourth straight day Friday, according to ODH.

There were 1,799 patients in hospitals across the state.

Ohio reported 3,305 daily cases, making it the eighth consecutive day since more than 4,000 daily cases were reported.

Over the last 21 days, Ohio is averaging 3,846 cases a day. The state has recorded 934,742 total cases during the pandemic.

Deaths increased by 2,559 Friday as Ohio continues to reconcile 4,000 COVID-19-related deaths in November and December that previously weren’t recorded.

“Newly reported deaths will be higher during the next few days as ODH completes this reconciliation,” a message on ODH’s COVID-19 dashboard reads.

About 2,500 deaths reported Friday were the result of this process, making the state’s daily total 59.

ExploreCoronavirus: Clark County starts K-12 educator vaccinations


Where to register for COVID-19 vaccines in Clark County

Individuals who are 65 and older can schedule an appointment with one of Clark County’s nine providers.

Clark County Combined Health District, in partnership with Mercy Health, will begin scheduling appointments for qualifying individuals this on Friday morning. Appointments can be made by calling 937-717-2439 or at ccchd.com.

CVS Pharmacy, located at 2565 E. Main St., is scheduling appointments online at cvs.com/vaccine or via the CVS app.

Walgreens, located at 2609 E. Main St., is scheduling appointments online at walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/COVID-19.

Rocking Horse Community Health Center, located at 651 S. Limestone St., is offering vaccine appointments only during varied hours. Rocking Horse patients will take priority. Valid identification and insurance information will be collected, however, no one will be turned away due to insurance status. To schedule an appointment call 937-525-4521.

The New Carlisle Community Health Center, located at 106 N. Main St. in New Carlisle, is scheduling appointments by phone at 937-543-0310.

Three Springfield-area Kroger pharmacy locations — 2728 East Main Street, 965 North Bechtle Avenue, and 2989 Derr Road — are offering the vaccine. Customers are encouraged to visit kroger.com/ohiocovidvaccine or call the company’s COVID-19 vaccine helpline at 866-211-5320 for the latest information.

Discount Drug Mart, located at 7617 Dayton Springfield Rd. in Fairborn, is scheduling appointments on their website at clinic.discount-drugmart.com/covid/ or by phone at 937-863-0045.

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