Black Vacs Matter

By Marty Lyn
Part 4 of Series

ALERT:  Health Dept. Issues Alert for COVID-19 Exposure

Food, transportation, custodial and other service providers are put on ALERT for possible COVID-19 exposure, if they in any way took part in the funeral services of a well-known local citizen April 15th. There were three primary public sites where workers and guests could have been exposed, and have been advised to be on watch for COVID-19 symptoms.

The Hamilton County Health Department is notifying the public of the potential COVID-19 exposure that occurred during the funeral services of Charles H. Coolidge this weekend. Case investigations revealed that individuals attended funeral services during their infectious period of COVID-19.

It is recommended that guests or workers who attended any of the services or rode in buses or shuttles to and from these services should monitor themselves for symptoms and be tested as soon as symptoms develop.

Those most harshly affected and killed by the Coronavirus, those particularly who may be employed as service providers, include Black Americans. The News Chronicle suggests that rather than await possible symptoms, get tested immediately.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, recent change in smell or taste, headache, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, or other symptoms as recognized by the CDC.

Community COVID-19 Testing Sites:

Cempa Community Care
4411 Oakwood Drive, Chattanooga

LifeSpring Community Health
2507 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga

Clínica Médicos
1148 E. 23rd Street, Chattanooga

More COVID-19 Testing Info:
Hamilton County Health Dept. Hotline
209-8383

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WALK-UP Vaccines At Howard High!
April 24th     Call 800-8101

CHI Memorial’s medical staff will administer the first dose of the Moderna vaccine to anyone 18 and older on April 24. Registration is recommended and Walk Ups will be accommodated.

‘Get Vaccinated Chattanooga’ is a vaccine education campaign funded by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, and is partnering with CHI Memorial to host the vaccine drive on Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Howard School located in Chattanooga’s Southside, 2500 Market St.

“We are excited to partner with CHI Memorial to host a COVID vaccination drive at The Howard School,” said LaDarius Price, of the Get Vaccinated Chattanooga leadership team.  “We are committed to hosting drives in centralized locations that are accessible by personal vehicle, public transit, paratransits, and pedestrians. By bringing vaccination drives to the community, we are removing barriers to the vaccine ensuring health equity for Chattanooga’s most vulnerable residents.”

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Black Vacs Matter
Local Black Vacs Still Lag

The Hamilton County Health Department updates its COVID-19 Dashboard each Wednesday. As of last week, the number of County citizens dosed with 1st or 2nd vaccines showed:

White    35%
Black    24%

Mid-month, all aged 16+ could receive vaccines. However, Dashboard statistics do not reflect ethnicity of those newly inoculated:

16-20    17%
21-30    27%
31-40    35%
41-50    39%

The CDC is encouraging youth vaccinations; urgent outreach to vaccinate those with traditionally least access to quality health care; and sticking to public health measures – such as NOT dropping masks at this crucial point in the pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday, when asked by journalist Margaret Brennan on ‘Face the Nation’, “When will the (COVID-19) infection rate come down? Dr. Fauci, Medical Advisor to President Biden, responded:

” … we’re vaccinating between three and four million people per day. But the other wild card in this is to be making sure that until we get to that point, we don’t pull back on public health measures because we’re having between 60 and 70,000 new infections per day. And it would really … not be prudent at all to declare victory prematurely and pull back. Without a doubt, as we continue every single day to get more and more people vaccinated, that [infection] rate will go down if we don’t give the virus the opportunity to essentially surge.”

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger weeks ago announced he has decided to drop the mask requirements April 29th. Meanwhile, citizens continue to be impacted by the spread of the virus and variants. As of Monday, April 19th, the Hamilton County Health Department reported there has been one more death from the virus, and so the death total climbs to 484. There are 32 new Coronavirus cases, bringing that total to 43,628. Currently, there are 742 active cases. 

Black Vacs Matter … and ALL Vacs Matter!