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Adams County officials explain balancing COVID testing and vaccinations

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QUINCY (WGEM) -- Staff from the Adams County Health Department are juggling two big jobs during the pandemic testing and vaccinations.

While that's a big challenge, local leaders are finding a way to do both jobs with limited resources.

Emily Johnson, the Emergency Management Administrative Assistant said staff perform about 400 covid-19 tests each day.

Her focus is solely on testing.

"The most important thing for us to be doing currently is doing what we can to keep testing going," Johnson said.

She administered tests when they have had to move staff around because her and the rest of her staff know they have a big responsibility.

"These people realize how important what they're doing is and they understand that there's a much bigger cause than just them. It's for a much bigger scale. It's for the community around us and that keeps them solid," Johnson said.

Adams County Emergency Management Director, John Simon said having testing and vaccinations at one site means they can keep testing going, while also taking care of vaccinations.

"It's allowed us to staff up so that we can manage both process vaccinations and testing and one doesn't have to sacrifice," Simon said.

They are getting some help to do both jobs. While the county focuses on testing and contact tracing, they are getting help from Quincy Medical Group, Blessing Health System, and SIU Family Medicine medical staff to handle the vaccines.

"We won't see the end of this until we get our community vaccinated so both of those are our priority and right now we're making sure that we're staffed and have the logistical support to here focused around the Oakley-Lindsay Center so we can meet both of those priorities at the same time," Simon said.

He said their staffing efforts also allow them to do 1,100 to 1,200 vaccinations a day.

County officials said one problem they have had is that many of their past workers have left to return to school.

They are in the process of replacing those workers.

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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