"The spread of COVID-19 in Hamilton County is as bad as it has ever been," said Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus during a press conference today announcing the county's vaccination plan. "Yesterday, as you know, the governor moved Hamilton County to purple on the state's warning map."
Driehaus said 59,783 people in Hamilton County have tested positive for COVID, to date — "That's one in 14 people," she said — and 436 people have died.
"We wish we were getting more vaccine more quickly, but we cannot control how much vaccine comes into Hamilton County," Driehaus said. "We can make sure that we are ready to administer vaccines, and we can make it as easy as possible for members of the public to sign up for the vaccine as soon as they're eligible."
To accomplish this, Mayor John Cranley put together a city and county task force with local hospitals and the Health Collaborative to create a central website where you can go to sign up for the vaccine and get more info.
Driehaus said this is a "one-stop-shop to share eligibility information, to provide information on registration for those eligible, and to allow those not yet eligible to sign up for updates to know when their tier opens up."
The new testandprotectcincy.com, created by the Health Collaborative, has a special "vaccine info" tab where users can click and see who is currently eligible to get the vaccine.
It also features different provider logos at the bottom where you can click to be directed to their vaccine registration portal. If you are not yet eligible for a vaccine, you can also sign up to request updates.
If you don't have a computer or the internet, you can call the United Way at 211 to be connected to the same services.
"This is an all-hands-on-deck effort to get shots in arms so that we can save lives in our community and help to fully and safely reopen our economy," said Cincinnati Board of Health's Kate Schroder.
Schroder said testandprotectcincy.com will continue to be updated as more vaccine providers crop up and eligibility expands.
City of Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore and Health Commissioner for Hamilton County Public Health Greg Kesterman both highlighted the importance of health equity during today's press conference and making sure everyone in Hamilton County has equal access to the vaccine.
The City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County also have their own vaccine registration portals. Visit City of Cincinnati's online portal redcap.research.cchmc.org/surveys/?s=K7XLWRCDHF to sign up for the City of Cincinnati and hamiltoncountyhealth.org/covid19/ in Hamilton County.
"I know it's been a tough, long year, but eight weeks from now, I feel relatively confident that most of us will be in a place to have an opportunity to (get) a vaccine," said Mayor Cranley today. "The more people who get (the vaccine), the safer it is for everyone, so we're asking for eight weeks more of masks, limit social interaction, keep distant."