CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County Health Department has received numerous compliments from the residents of the county in their efforts to get COVID vaccine shots into the arms of its citizens. Dr. Joseph Ciotola, Medical Director of Queen Anne’s County said, “We’re truly grateful to the Kent Island and Sudlersville Volunteer Fire Departments for providing their fire houses as location sites for our residents to get the vaccine inoculations.” He added, “We haven’t been able to get as much vaccine as we need right now, but we’re hoping that will soon change as supply increases.”

Deputy Health Officer Jennie Burris said, “The volunteer fire departments have opened their arms to our residents to help in this. I believe our staff are the ‘unsung heroes’ in the effort to get our citizens vaccinated. For such a small county health department, I think we’ve done a very good job!”

Burris confirmed that citizens classified at highest risk have been among the priority residents to receive the first vaccinations, including those developmentally disabled adults who are cared for at Chesterwye Center in Grasonville. The county had been included in a lawsuit brought against six counties across the state by advocate organization The Arc, stating that those who should have been receiving the vaccination shots, were not. However, once the facts were made clear, the group withdrew their suit against Queen Anne’s.

Burris added, “Our county has not wasted any vaccine, which we refer to as ‘liquid gold’. We live in a very special county. I want to thank our residents for being so understanding, and I credit them for being so patient and kind during this time period. They have expressed such appreciation and thoughtfulness to our staff as they have waited to get their appointments for the vaccine. Some have even called us back to let us know they were able to arrange their shots somewhere else and to give their scheduled shots to someone else in the county who needs it.”

Burris also complimented the county commissioners for doing all they can to support the health department and the vaccine rollout. “They have even come over to our vaccination sites to see how things have been going,” Burris said.

Commissioner President Chris Corchiarino said, “The people of Queen Anne’s County should be very proud of the work our health department has done. I know we, as commissioners, have made weekly calls to the governor’s office asking for more vaccine to be sent. I want to assure all our county residents that those who have been deemed high risk are the people we have focused on getting the vaccine shots first. We’re all hopeful the increase in supplies are coming!”

The most recent COVID numbers in Queen Anne’s County are looking very good. The county COVID positivity rate is current declining at 3.27% as of the last week of March, well below the state positivity rate. Almost 29% of the county residents have received their first dose of the vaccine, more than 14,000 people. Since the pandemic first began in March, 2020, 33 county residents have died from COVID, one of the lowest death totals among all 23 counties in Maryland.

Queen Anne’s County is still encouraging residents to wear face masks and practice social distancing, following Governor Hogan’s directives for safety with businesses and schools re-opening.

For more information about getting your COVID vaccine shots scheduled, go online at qaccovid.org, or call 443-262-9909, for assistance in arranging shots.

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