Good morning and welcome to Montrose Fresh, from The Montrose Daily Press. It’s Monday January 11th and we’re here to bring you a closer look at our top stories, events and more that matter to us here in Western Colorado.
Today - Montrose County is seeing a take rate of about 50% among people who were eligible to receive the vaccine.
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Before we begin, Police this week are warning Montrose County residents of a phone scam that has already defrauded at least one local.
According to Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall, the scammer is calling locals, using Hall’s name, and threatening arrest if the victim doesn’t deposit money into an account.
There have been seven to 10 reports of this scammer in the past week-and-a-half. The victim who was defrauded, had $2,200 stolen.
Hall added that the best thing to do when someone receives such a scam call is to decline giving out any personal information, like name or bank account information, no matter how convincing the scam is. Second, he said, those who receive such calls should call dispatch and ask to make a report with a police officer.
Now, our feature story.
Montrose County Public Health and its medical partners are eager to vaccinate as many residents as possible against COVID-19. But first, they need to navigate a slim supply and a reluctance among about half of those eligible.
Dr. Joe Adragna, pandemic specialist for the county said that they think they can do around 5,000 doses a week.
But. the county has received nowhere near sufficient supply of the Moderna vaccine. The most recent shipment was, at 200 doses, far below what was requested.
Adragna said that we need vaccines. Right now it’s completely dependent on the state shipping it, which is dependent on the federal government shipping it to the state.
Montrose County is following the state priority guidelines for who gets the vaccine and when. Phase 1A, the inoculation of frontline health care workers, nursing home staff and residents, and staff and residents of similar facilities, began on December 22nd. Members of law enforcement and the fire district have also begun receiving vaccines.
And so far, the county is seeing a take rate of about 50% among people who were eligible to receive the vaccine. According to Adragna, nursing homes saw an acceptance rate of about 55% among staff.
He thinks that this is far too low.
Adragna stressed that a vaccine does not transmit COVID-19. It contains MRNA, which then sends a message to cells to make proteins that fight diseases. MRNA does not change a person’s cells or alter DNA.
The vaccines recently approved provide a critical tool in fighting COVID-19. Other options are just not ideal.
Adragna has also seen some eligible people hesitate to receive the vaccine because they don’t want to take it from someone else who might need it more.
But despite not everyone eligible for a vaccine opting for one, there is still high demand in the community. More than 3,000 people have pre registered.
The vaccine is a powerful and welcome weapon, according to Adragna.
In his words, we can finally go on the offensive. We don’t have to hide anymore. We don’t have to wait for a tool we can use to fight back with. We have that now. We need to encourage our friends and neighbors to take this vaccine.
Before we go, we’d like to take a moment to highlight Al Warnock, a retired South Dakota police chief who moved to Montrose about five years ago. Warnock recently donated several wooden toy cars to the Montrose Police Department to be given to kids who are involved in police encounters as victims or witnesses.
Warnock, who was a police officer for 22 years, said he got the idea from a similar program in South Dakota.
He said that it’s an attention diversion. They’ve got a toy to play with. They can try to escape the bad part of whatever is going on.
Warnock recently delivered 18 handmade wooden cars to the MPD for distribution. He spends about 20 to 30 minutes making each car and is making more that might go to another agency.
According to Police Chief Blaine Hall any time we have donations that we can actually personally give out to our kids, it always helps build rapport.
That’s all for today, thank you for listening! For more information on any of these stories visit us at montrosepress.com.
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