On Tuesday, Jan. 19, Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner and Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth provided an update at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on local COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Joining him were commissioners Maria Marino, Gregg Weiss, Maria Sachs, Melissa McKinlay and Mack Bernard, and also Darcy Davis, CEO of the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, and Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Department of Health-Palm Beach County.
Tuesday marked Day 309 of Level 2 activation at the EOC. The mandatory facial coverings order for Palm Beach County has been extended to Feb. 19.
Vaccinations — COVID-19 vaccine allotment and distribution are under the control of the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Palm Beach County area hospitals received separate allocations directly from the state and must be dispensed according to the governor’s Executive Order 20-315.
Vaccine supplies remain very limited; first phase priority populations are front line healthcare workers; long-term care residents and staff; and those age 65 and older. To date, 90,409 individuals in Palm Beach County have received an initial dose of the vaccine, and 3,154 have completed their two-dose series.
Publix — 67 Publix Supermarkets with pharmacies in Palm Beach County have been authorized to administer vaccines (up to 125 vaccinations per store per day) beginning on Thursday, Jan. 21. Eligible individuals can sign up at www.publix.com/covidvaccine. You must have an appointment to be vaccinated. Palm Beach County is the state’s first large urban county to have vaccine distribution by Publix.
Other Locations — The governor has directed the allocation of vaccines to Kings Point in Delray Beach, Century Village in Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, and Leisureville in Boynton Beach. Last weekend, state incident management teams were at Wells Recreation Center in Riviera Beach and Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in West Palm Beach.
Appointments — The Florida Department of Health-Palm Beach County and the Health Care District of Palm Beach County are working together to vaccinate those with confirmed appointments from the Health Department’s e-mail list. Due to large amounts of e-mail requests being received, the e-mail address will be deactivated until those already in the system can be accommodated. At this time, officials are only scheduling vaccination appointments for the individuals on the Palm Beach County Department of Health waiting list. As more vaccines become available, they will provide public information about scheduling your appointment.
Supply — With demand for the vaccine far exceeding supply, large-scale vaccination operations cannot be implemented in Palm Beach County at this time. As the vaccine supply increases over the next several months, efforts will be expanded to include regionally located vaccination centers, points of distribution, clinic operations and mobile pop-up community sites. The public is asked to be patient and to continue to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated.
Metrics — A total of 98,692 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Palm Beach County since the outbreak began last March, with 2,059 fatalities. The current daily positivity rate is 9.47 percent, slightly above the state rate of 8.97.
Video from the Tuesday, Jan. 19 COVID-19 Update: